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NEWS: Civil society tells European Commission to stop promoting water privatization

NewEurope reports, “The European Commission admitted to promoting water privatisation in countries like Greece and Portugal that use the bailout plan, as a condition to continue receiving the aid funds. Civil society groups (including the Council of Canadians and the Blue Planet Project) have written to commissioner Olli Rehn to demand the cessation of pressure regarding water privatisation. As Gabriella Zanzanaini, Director of European Affairs for Food & Water Europe stated: ‘This really demonstrates how the Commission has lost touch with reality. Their ideological arguments are not based on substantiated facts and goes to the extreme of ignoring the democratic will of the people.'”

The full article can be read at

In March, the Blue Planet Project, Food and Water Europe, the European Federation of Public Service Unions and Public Services International Research Unit, released a report examining the impacts of austerity measures and water privatization on the human right to water in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece and Bulgaria, In January, the Council of Canadians and Canadian Union of Public Employees released a briefing note on leaked documents related to Canada-European Union free trade negotiations that show that Canada and the provinces have failed to protect drinking water and wastewater services from trade rules that would encourage and lock in privatization,

Photo: Gabriella Zanzanaini (Food & Water Europe), Martin Pigeon (Corporate Europe Observatory), Meera Karunananthan (Council of Canadians) outside the European Parliament in Brussels, July 2010.