While challenging the World Water Forum in Marseille, France this week, the Blue Planet Project was able to meet with Greek water justice activists Arhontopoulus Georgios and Alexandros Kastrinakis of the “Initiative 136” movement.
As previously noted in our campaign blogs, the government of Greece is set to fully privatize EYDAP and EYATH, the Athens and Thessaloniki water and sewage companies. The Greek news service Ekathimerini reports, “Until recently the two companies were to have only a part of their state stakes sold…” 27.3 percent of the Athens utility was to be sold, as was 40 percent of the Thessaloniki water utility. But it is now being reported that, “With the appointment of consultants for their sale, this points to a full privatization.”
It is expected that the call for public tender for the full-privatization of these water utilities will take place in May and that the companies will be sold by September. Initiative 136 is seeking to stop the sale of the utilities and, if that fails, develop a plan for a cooperative, non-profit, social management of the utilities. This week in Marseille, Kastrinakis said that under austerity Greece is no longer a country, it is a colony of the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank. He said, “Nothing belongs to us anymore, including water.”
The Council of Canadians and the Blue Planet Project stands in solidarity with this water justice movement in Greece.
Earlier campaign blogs on the sale of public water assets in Greece can be read at http://canadians.org/blog/?s=thessaloniki.