Initiative 136’s organizers propose that the neighbourhood cooperatives decide on such issues as water tariffs and an investment budget. Sulzer overhauls main pumps in water station pumping to ensure decades of reliability. In 2014 the plan was stopped by the resistance of the people. The sustainable desalination project, due to complete mid-2021, will create 20,000 liters of clean drinking water using the heat and power of the sun. Email: tomf@pennwell.com. There, European allies offered to help raise additional funds to purchase the company. It is also cheaper and easier for EYATH to distribute. Greeks Stand up to Protect Their Water from Privatization by Our World 2.0 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.Based on a work at http://onthecommons.org/magazine/greeks-stand-protect-their-water-privatization. In a counter-strategy to allowing the Greek state selling off shares to private investors, Initiative 136 organizers are knocking on neighborhood doors to interest Thessaloniki’s households in buying a share for 136 euros each — which explains Initiative 136’s name. For those citizens patient enough to read the … This article appears courtesy of On the Commons and contains some editorial adjustments by Our World 2.0. Ironically, the country is in fact endowed with abundant water resources of 58 billion cubic meters per year, of which the country uses just 12%. Speaking exclusively to WWi magazine, Spyros Kouvelis, Greece's former deputy minister for foreign affairs and current member of the Mediterranean Action Plan of the United Nations Environment Programme, says: "That's because of Greece's particular geography. the memorandums. The cooperatives would play a co-management role with the public water utility and serve as water watchdogs, stewards of the public good. Many are aware of the water privatisation in Chile under Augustine Pinochet, and the initiatives have been inspired by the water wars in Cochabamba, Bolivia, the binding referenda in Italy and many other successes. A mainstream media poll showed significant support for Initiative 136. OPAP (Lottery and Betting Monopoly) - privatization completed in 2013, when the last remaining government-owned stock was sold OTE (Οργανισμός Τηλεπικοινωνιών Ελλάδος / Hellenic Telecommunications Company) - became partly privatised in the 1990s, when its only shareholder at the time, the Hellenic State, reduced its share of the company to 36%. We are not fighting for our jobs, we fight for our water, for poor people who really now cannot pay the water bill.”. Because it would be unmanageable to have one large citizen body oversee the city’s entire water works, explained Marioglou, they will decentralize. To simplify matters you can divide Greece with a line through the center. ", Kouvelis adds: "Broadly speaking we have to take on board the notion that water is part of the renewable energy source of Greece - especially in terms of the smaller hydro power stations that can and need to be developed as much as possible.". The Purdue team, which created a technology called NoAir, is among 19 quarterfinalists that will advance to the next contest in the U.S. Department of Energy’s $9 million Solar Desalination Prize. He asserted the government would soon introduce the so-called target model so that power producers … As for sewage, the European Commission has put the Gulf of Thessaloniki on its “sensitive” list. [quote quote=”Initiative 136’s organizers propose that the neighbourhood cooperatives decide on such issues as water tariffs and an investment budget.” type=”text” ]. Carlsberg Group, Desolenator announce water resources partnership in India. Published. "The key here is to make sure that you have appropriate water management in the long-term because we have 16,000 kms of coast line with tourism and cities developing apace. The water activists in Thessaloniki have learned from social movements beyond Greece’s borders. Around 1990, the springs were overdrawn and the area ecology withered. Other left parties argue that the public shouldn’t have to buy the company from the state — it’s already theirs. While one Russian source failed to specify what these might be, it is rumored that Moscow might well have its eyes set on the Greek gas company DEPA, the train operator TrainOSE - not to mention the sea ports of Athens and Thessaloniki alike. The Kallikratis plan for local government reform was designed to merge these smaller municipalities and utilities into larger units. Update on the campaign to stop water privatization in Greece Greece to fully-privatize Athens and Thessaloniki water under austerity program Blue Planet in solidarity with Initiative 136 in Greece Join over 150,000 people working to promote democracy and justice. It's crazy. Mismanagement, unsurprisingly, has been reflected in the country's water sector - not so much in Athens and Thessaloniki, where the two semi-private utilities EYDAP and EYATH are in charge of water supply and sanitation, but in the country's no less than 230 different municipal utilities. “To fix a leaky pipe, they make a big hole to make more money. The Vukovar Water Tower is one of the most recognizable symbols of Vukovar's defense in the 1991 Croatian Homeland War. Greece: Water Privatisation Battle. Greeks have suffered from repeated droughts, the most recent one occurring in 2007. As the country drowns in debt, the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank (often referred to as the “troika”) work with eager Greek political parties to balance the books by selling off public water. Greece’s economic woes continue to pile up, with key public utilities such as water now on the chopping block of privatization. The recent financial crisis has not only tested Greek democracy, but its water as well. What is clear is that nothing is likely to happen at a lightning pace. Since then, the Ministry has adjusted the target, planning to sell off 100 percent of its holdings in the two state companies. This research investigates potential contributions by the privatization of water production to sustainability of water supply. Saudi Arabian leadership launches Water Transmission and Technologies Company. Projected conclusions about the Greek water privatization scheme are predictably dire: poverty-stricken households will be hardest hit by the price hikes, while a lack of financial motives could lead private companies to cut back costs on maintaining water supply and sanitation in Athens and Thessaloniki, the country’s largest cities. Greece is under enormous pressure to privatize its water system. Australian water program creates opportunities for US technology companies. “A public utility is what we want to create with Initiative 136,” said Marioglou. As foreign investors eye their public utilities, water workers scramble to create cooperatives. Greek activists were moved by a show of solidarity at an October meeting of the European Water Assembly in Florence. Water and sewerage is under public management in Greece. So when it comes to droughts it depends on which part of the country you are talking about. The government's plan was to privatise both EYDAP and EYATH - the previous government announced that it would reduce its share in the two companies to 51% as part of a broader Hellenic Privatisation Program. But as Prof. Bieler reported, even if companies increase their holding of water rights, unionized water workers and citizens who regard water as an essential commons will fight on. 9 years ago. All this will be further compounded by the lack of a concrete … Greece to move forward with privatization of energy, mining companies. © 2020 Endeavor Business Media, LLC. The duration of the government's participation in the superfund was set … That might not seem like an onerous sum for a high-income country like Greece, “but with 35 percent employment,” said Marioglou, “I’m not so sure it will work”. Thessaloniki’s citizens do. Doing so the EU Commission goes again for privatization of water in Greece. When he is not distributing water meters and pipes from a warehouse with his job at EYATH (Thessaloniki Water Supply and Sewerage Company) he is a union leader and organizer for Initiative 136, a citizen’s initiative to buy the government’s stake in the water utility of Greece’s second largest city. Project controls platform selected to enhance transparency and collaboration between Australia’s largest water utility and its regional delivery partners. When one of the many former heads of TAIPED called his country an “El Dorado” wide open to foreign capital back in 2012, he was widely criticized for his readiness to sell Greece to foreigners. There has been a hunger strike, a referendum against privatization, and large demonstrations. “This is a very important detail,” says Archontopoulos. 4.2 The Issues and challenges of Privatization in Greece Privatization is seen as a valuable tool for promotion of the … The above attempt appears as an alternative proposition as opposed to the state-driven full privatization of EYATH S.A. A referendum in Thessaloniki against the privatization of the water company was signed by 213.508 people, 98% of all counted votes. In such a swift and fast moving situation it's of course impossible to predict what the outcome is likely to be. The main objective is to examine the perceptions of stakeholders concerning privatization as a water governance model and its contribution to water sustainability. Greece knows a thing or two about democracy. Jeremy Josephs is freelance contributor for WWi magazine. Even in his halting English, Marioglou was careful to distinguish between public and state. Some of the important points that have been raised in these arguments are as follows: Profiteering: The most obvious disadvantage of water privatization is profiteering. While ancient Greece is seen as the seminal civilisation that provided the very foundation of modern Western culture, there is considerably less unanimity as to why it entered into decline in the first place. Projected conclusions about the Greek water privatization scheme are predictably dire: poverty-stricken households will be hardest hit by the price hikes, while a lack of financial motives could lead private companies to cut back costs on maintaining water supply and sanitationin Athens and Thessaloniki, the country’s largest cities. Water cannons irrigating maize in the middle of the day - 40% evaporates and doesn't even reach the crops - whilst at the same the EU continues to subsidize crops like cotton which are not at all sustainable. The country battles against the odds to keep up with the requirements of the European Framework Directive while the topic of water privatisation has been part of an impassioned and ongoing national debate. They support continued state ownership. Today, approximately 21 percent of EYATH trades on the Athens stock market. The hybrid strategy combines a polyamide matrix and artificial water channels into a single structure for use on an industrial scale. However, after a 2006 tour of EYATH facilities, reports George Archontopoulos, president of the EYATH workers union, company officials asked, “Why do you have [such] cheap water here in Thessaloniki?” Archontopoulos hopes that the financial crisis will make clear that water cannot be a counted on as a reliable profit center. Greece wouldn’t be the first place to privatize public water utilities during a fiscal crisis. Sweetheart contracts with politically-connected contractors, for example, are commonplace. In 2011 the government included Thessaloniki Water Supply & Sewerage SA (EYATH) in the list of state owned enterprises that would be privatized under the pretext of financial crisis and austerity measures (imposed by the Troika’s demands). Greece's highest constitutional court, the Council of State, took the unprecedented step of blocking the proposed privatisation of the country's biggest water utility (Athens Water) on the grounds that the sale could put public health at risk. But if the state doesn’t want EYATH, so be it. Brent Patterson. September 17, 2020. Forward dive for long-lasting Landia mixers at St Andrews. But it is now, with the loan agreement between the Greek government and the Troika of foreign lenders, that the real sell-off is to take place. The country’s massive privatization program is a condition of its third bailout. Unsurprisingly, this has impacted heavily on each and every aspect of the country's water sector. “Citizens sympathized with our activism. High nitrogen discharges imperil the coastline with eutrophication. International team develops biomimetic membrane for desalinating seawater. Maria Kanellopoulou of the Greek activist organization “Save Greek Water,” in an interview originally recorded in October 2016 and broadcast on Dialogos Radio, spoke to MintPress News about the impending privatization of Greek water systems and the potential consequences it will bring, as well as the efforts being made to prevent the privatization from being completed. Photo: Unsplash. Facility in Dumai, Indonesia will have a capacity of 50 liters per second (180m3/h), consisting of 120 NX Filtration dNF80 membrane modules. Following Wall Street's implosion in 2008 Greece became the epicenter of Europe's debt crisis, oten classed as a weak link in the Eurozone, requiring multiple bailouts. Peel-off coating aims to improve desalination. Greece is under enormous pressure to privatize its water system. Which considering the Privatization EUR 50 Billion worth of assets by 2015 program again, the Greek economy will be able to reach the same debt ratio by 2025 without the privatization program if primary surpluses by 2014 are above 7.5 percent, this level however seems realistic. Edit the famous song title from the film Grease and you have Greece Lightning. He fears that practices could be even worse than the current state management. Rebel cities are not just built on many powerful ideas: They are built on the power of many … You will receive email updates, event invitations, opportunities to help fund initiatives and other communications from the Council of … This research provides a robust reference for future planning in the water sector, hinting at the importance of considering public-private partnerships at … A Technology Roadmap has been created by the Australian and New Zealand water sectors through W-Lab – a WSAA initiative delivered by technology and business consultancy Isle Utilities. He is currently working on a project to improve urban water utilities’ stewardship of upstream water sources and editing OTC’s series on water management. … For what is happening in the water sector is clearly intimately bound up with what is happening higher up the economic and political chains. As the country drowns in debt, the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank (often referred to as the “troika”) work with eager Greek political parties to balance the books by selling off public water. A recent study published in Scientific journal PLOS ONE argues that it was a 300-year drought that caused the demise of several eastern Mediterranean civilizations and cultures, including ancient Greece, some 3,200 years ago. "To free up water with a view to doing better and more sustainable things. For example we need improved irrigation technologies. That profit margin has, however, diminished in the last 9 months. In late September 2016, the Syriza administration laid the groundwork to begin Greece's water privatization, achieving a majority of 152 parliamentary votes and enacting series of new measures to transfer the state-run water companies of Athens (EYDAP) and Thessaloniki (EYATH) into a privatization superfund. It has never simply been a campaign to protect state jobs. They should give it back to people or install drinking fountains or build public toilets. The Los Angeles Times reports, "Under intense pressure from international lenders, Greece on Sunday announced a new set of austerity measures to meet deficit reduction targets and stamp out speculation that it would be forced out of … ... Minister of Environment and Energy of Greece Kostis Hatzidakis announced plans for a quick sale or partial privatization of companies in the energy and mining sectors. “They think it’s a romantic idea, that it will never happen,” Marioglou said. In Portugal, privatization of water in the area Pacos de Ferreira, has led to the increase of the price of water by 400% in a few years, rising by 6% every year. Cortec technology used to preserve Croatian water tower. WTTCO will manage and maintain water transmission, distribution and storage systems across the country. “Right now it’s a state company where the management is political appointments with no water service experience, running the company poorly before they move on to another party position.”. So the basic situation is not complicated - we don't have the water where and when we require it.". Conditioning loans based on full or partial water privatization is an increasingly common practice of international lenders -- and much criticized. The spring water is “absolutely gorgeous”, said Marioglou, and preferable to consumers. Russia may well be prepared to throw some money towards Greece but at what price? While Athens receives its water from a series of reservoirs, some of which are located 200 km away, some small islands are supplied with water from tankers. This seems an entirely appropriate analogy for the thunderbolt which has befallen the Greek economy in recent years. In June 2010, the Ministry of Finance announced that through the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, the Greek government would reduce its shares in EYATH and the Athens State Water Utility (EYDAP), from 74 percent to 51 percent. The aim of this article is to investigate the organization of water cooperatives in Greece for the first time, as promoted by a spontaneous social mobilization called Initiative 136. The path to the privatization of water in Greece was paved by the entry into the stock market in 1999 of the two major water companies, which led to the French multinational Suez entering the market. Water supply and sanitation in Greece is characterised by diversity. We’ll decide on public investments.”. Greece wouldn't be the first place to privatize public water utilities during a fiscal crisis. After a legal action the Supreme court declared the plan of water privatization as illegal, because the Greek Constitution says explicitly, … The Initiative seeks to establish a network of 16 cooperatives in Thessaloniki to manage a truly public company. Under economic collapse, Greece has been pressured by the EU to privatize the biggest water companies, while people already suffering from rising taxes and prices in social services imposed by the Greek government and the European partners. Why, nothing less than "particular Greek assets". The company’s value is estimated at 50 million Euros, while the country’s debt exceeds 400 billion.”. Despite early interest from France's Suez Environnement and Israel's Mekorot, there was what could be considered a major political earthquake with the Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza) being elected as the largest party in the Hellenic Parliament and with its young and charismatic chairman, Alexis Tsipras, being sworn in as Prime Minister of Greece. Kouvelis adds: "The key issue, in my view, is that we need a full restructuring of how agriculture is carried out in Greece.". Water privatization has been at the receiving end of some major criticism. Surprising to many, Greece is endowed with abundant water resources of 58 billion cubic meters per year. This means that you have to have not a five-year but a 20-year plan - really looking ahead into the future with a view to developing the accompanying infrastructure appropriately. In Florence the French water company was signed by 213.508 people, %! 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