[vc_row el_position=”first”] [vc_column width=”1/4″] [/vc_column] [vc_column el_position=”last” width=”3/4″] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]
[box] A press conference of the coordinating committee of citizens and organizations “SOSte the water” held on 24/4 at the Labour Centre of Thessaloniki in which spoke members of the coordinating committee Archontopoulos George, president of the Association of Workers EYATh and John Krestenitis Professor at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.[/box]
[/vc_column_text] [/vc_column] [/vc_row] [vc_row el_position=”last”] [vc_column] [vc_column_text el_position=”first last”]
Panagiotis Avramopoulos, President of the City Council , Deputy Mayor of Thermi Socrates Famelos , the Councillor of the city board of Thessaloniki Triantafillos Mitafidis and the Regional Director of Central Macedonia George Theodoropoulos welcomed and expressed their support to the struggle of coordinating committee
The financial data from EYATh presented by G. Archontopoulos highlighted that “Gross earnings during 2007-2011 is 143 million euros, so we understand that according to the tender notice for sale EYATh, the 80 million euro, which TAIPED implies for participation in the competition is undervalued. ”
“Of course we are not focusing on the cheap sale , how could we evaluate a commodity essential to life? We just want to show how sketchy the privatization process is, like the fact that despite announcements for a Regulatory Authority that shall determine the price of water, eventually the price will be appointed by a minister’s office. The competition progresses and there no decision about it yet”
Referring to the decline in consumption due to the financial crisis (the last three years consumption was reduced by about 6,000,000 cubic meters) and the inability citizens to pay their water bills underlined “These figures are numbers for EYATh but for us correspond to our fellow citizens “and added” we owe to our fellow citizens to do everything in our power not to pass the privatization ”
“Who is ultimately in favor of privatization ?” wondered G. Archontopoulos conveying the experience of the coordinator of interacting with citizens of Thessaloniki.
He continued by adding “A profitable business is sell out” and announced “a fight to the end.” “Foreigners who are about to come should know very well what awaits them , they have had this experience in other countries where from they were kicked out, therefore they should be aware to face a society in the trenches against privatization. “he added.
John Krestenitis spoke for his international experience and “failed” attempts to privatize water: “In Paris, Berlin, Nice, private water &sewerage companies were kicked out and here attempt to impose them. The Dutch prohibit by law the selling off. The Italians banned it by referendum. Austrians and Germans have only Municipal Enterprises “he said.
He stressed that wherever applied the privatization of water ” only citizens lost and companies won.”
“Privatisation led to exorbitant increase in water and sewer bills (up to 7 times), depletion of water resources, poor maintenance of water supply and sanitation, increase water losses and degradation of water quality and the environment.” he added.
Furthermore he explained the three main objectives of the committee which are to inform citizens, the European online campaign collecting signatures “right to water” and the referendum.
“The fight will be tough,” said George Theodoropoulos and added that “a victory against privatization EYATh will also mark the struggle against privatization and other public bodies such as the Port and ELVO.”
“The city council in 2011 decided against the privatization of water and updated its decision in 2013. Our position is clear. Water should stay public control “said Panagiotis Avramopoulos.
Regarding the referendum he pointed out that even the city council has not acted on but his personal opinion is positive.
Municipal councillor D.Mitafidis spoke for the concept of “water democracy” and added that fortunately the idea of a referendum is rather mature.
Deputy Mayor of Thermi Socrates Famelos pointed out that ” Thessaloniki’s water is not for sale and will not be sold” must be the motto of Municipalities.
S. Famelos called the municipalities “owners of water” who as he said represent the society that paid for water and sanitation.
Furthermore he referred to the decision of Regional Association of Municipalities as well as the decisions of municipalities Thermi and Hortiati against the privatization of water and for the remunicipalization of EYATh in favor of the movement against the sale and support of the referendum. He noted that the Municipalities of Kalamaria and Thessaloniki have already decided against privatization while Municipality of Oreokastro has taken an explicit decision to hold a referendum.
Finally the Coordinating Committee organizes on Monday, April 29, (a date when the first phase of the privatization competition and submitted bids ends), mobilization and activities against the privatization of water outside the EYATh at 12.00.
[/vc_column_text] [/vc_column] [/vc_row]