Johann W. von Krause has sent us this petition :-
To: President of the EU-commission, Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker, and Germany's federal minister of finance, Mr. Wolfgang Schäuble
This petition is organised by network of solidarity with Greece.
We demand the EU-commission to keep its promise not to privatize water!
We demand that the EU-commission and the German Federal government give up their demand of water privatization in Greece in the interest of big companies but to stand in for the rights of the people. We demand to open und make public all written documents as well as the minutes of oral negotiations between the Greek government and the institutions concerning the the transfer of EYDAP and EYATH to the superfund.
[Original petition in German Wasserprivatisierung in Griechenland ]
Greece is being forced to privatize its two largest water companies in Thessaloniki and in Athens. This arouses big outrage and resistance is growing. “The access to water is a human right. Water is a public property and not an object of trading.” This appeal signed by almost 2 million people induced the EU to give up the plan of water privatization - except for its southern countries, where the policy of the Troika puts pressure on politics to privatize water supply. So the Greek Parliament had to agree in transfering the large water companies EYDAP and EYATH to the newly founded superfund, controlled by the creditors, for privatization. Otherwise they would not be given the next credits.
Doing so the EU-commission goes again for privatization of water in Greece. In 2014 the plan was stopped by the resistance of the people. A referendum in Thessaloniki against the privatization of the water company was signed by 213.508 people, 98% of all counted votes. After a legal action the Supreme court declared the plan of water privatization as illegal, because the Greek Constitution says explicitly, that healthcare of the citizens should be guaranteed by such a vital item. That is not possible if multinational companies control the access to water. As many examples in European cities show, not only did water supply aggravate but also prices started to rise. Rising prices mean for Greece that many people will have only insufficient or no access to water. At the moment prices are connected with the social situation of people. Those people, who lost everything through the crisis and the disastrous policy of social cuts should not be denied access to water, because water is vital. Interested companies such as Veolia and Suez already complained that water prices are too low.
Aggravation of water supply together with rising prices after privatization are the reason why so many municipalities in different countries successfully brought it back under public control. Recent examples are found in cities in Spain and Portugal, which were also forced by the Troika to practise this wrong policy. They were confronted with the rise of water costs up to 400%. Slovenia prevents by declaring water as a public item in its constitution and so avoids privatization. One of the first municipalities that was forced to reverse privatization of water by the resistance of its people, was Berlin. There 51% remained in public hands, but secret contracts guaranteed the private operators high profits for more than 30 years. So in Berlin water prices were rising, too. Berlin is a good example, that resistance can be successful.