Blog Posts: Privatization

November 29th, 2017

Up to the Last Drop: The Secret Water War in Europe

By David Sánchez

Water is a human right and a common good. But it is also one of the main focuses of transnational corporations that want to profit from this scarce resource. The struggle to defend public water is now exposed in the new documentary Up to the Last Drop: The Secret Water War in Europe.

For decades, corporations have pushed for the privatization of public services – including water. In Europe, several attempts supported by the European Commission have been launched since the neoliberal wave of the 90s. Still, today some of the countries affected by the austerity crisis – Ireland, Greece, Portugal – are resisting water privatization imposed by the Troika. Water has been on the negotiation table of the new wave of free trade agreements like TTIP and TISA, and is included in CETA, which contains several provisions that put public water management and water resources under international trade and investment mechanisms.

Read the full article…

January 4th, 2016

To a New Year Full of Victories for Our Food and Water!

By Geert Decock

FoodandWaterEuropeRomaniaFrackdownHere at Food & Water Europe, we’re not only celebrating the New Year, but also the 10th anniversary of our sister organisation, Food & Water Watch.

Together we have grown into a powerful advocate for healthy food and clean water for all, with nearly 1 million supporters in the US and thousands here in Europe demanding that our democracy work to improve people’s lives and protect the environment. Thanks to YOU, our allies, activists and grassroots partners, we’re proving that when we bring people together, we can overcome even the most powerful corporations.

You are a wonderful part of our celebrations, and I want to share just some of the important victories you made happen right here in Europe:

Read the full article…

March 17th, 2015

Join Me at the Right2Water Protest

Join the Right2Water Movement

By David Sánchez 

This is BIG.

The Right2Water movement is growing.

It’s easy to see why – the goals are clear:

1. Guaranteed water and sanitation for all in Europe.

2. No privatisation of water services.

3. Universal access to water and sanitation for all.

On 23 March 2015, people will come from across Europe to mobilise in Brussels. Our mission is to remind the European Commission that they work for us and not for corporations!

This is a critical time to gather and speak out. We gathered 2 million signatures but the European Commission did nothing. And the European Parliament is preparing a resolution in defense of the human right to water.

I’ll be there on 23 March, chanting, “We want the Human Right to Water and we want it now!”

Will you join me?

Learn more and RSVP to attend.

September 2nd, 2014

Citizens Won: Greek Water Remains in Public Hands

By David Sánchez

Referendum about water privatization in Thessaloniki, Greece. Credit: Save Greek Water

Referendum about water privatisation in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Credit: Save Greek Water

There is an ongoing struggle in southern Europe, where water privatisation is promoted as a way out of the economic crisis. But this summer, a turnaround victory was achieved in Greece: the Council of State ruled against the privatisation of Greek public water companies. Citizens have shown, again, that privatisation can be defeated through a combination of grassroots mobilisation, legal actions and international solidarity.

The story goes back some years ago. Under conditions imposed by the Troika (which includes the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the European Central Bank) to reduce Greece’s debt, public water companies in Athens and Thessaloniki were about to be privatised by the government, among other painful and socially unfair measures.

The mobilisation against this measure was massive, and great campaigns were launched in Athens, with a great success in media, and Thessaloniki, where a popular referendum showed an overwhelming opposition to water privatisation. A solidarity effort was coordinated by the European Water Movement (Food & Water Europe is an active member). Over 130 civil society organisations and trade unions teamed up with 50 members of the European Parliament to send a letter to the bidders of the public water company in Thessaloniki urging them to drop their bid. Those companies included French multinational Suez Environnement and Israeli group Mekorot. The situation in Greece was central in the campaign for the European Citizen’s Initiative that collected nearly 1.9 million signatures to support the human right to water and to stop liberalisation in the water sector.

This victory in Greece sends a clear signal to the European Commission and to the transnational water companies that were trying to make profit out of Greek crisis. The myth that people cannot resist against the Troika’s demands has collapsed. And as our colleagues from Save Greek Water say: “we can all, without exceptions, feel proud of this major victory.”

While we definitely celebrate this new major step to stop water privatisation in Europe, we are aware that we cannot be naïve. Public water management is still under threat in Greece and the rest of Europe as long as the European Union and the U.S. negotiate a new free trade agreement (known as TTIP or TAFTA), as long as the Troika pushes for water privatisation in many other countries, and as long as the European Commission goes on with their liberalisation agenda. These threats will require renewed mobilisation for the recognition of water as a human right and a common good.

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