This is how water privatization is going to be annuled

This is how water privatization is going to be annuled

After the voting of the transfer of EYDAP and EYATH to the Superfund which was established under L. 4389/2016 the two major Greek water services are privatized in violation of the Constitution, despite the reassurances to the contrary.

  • The control of the services which are transferred in their entirety to the Superfund is now in the hands of an organization which is not pubic, according to its founding provisions.(1)
  • The Greek governments cease to control the management of these services since they give it away to the Supervisory Board of the Superfund which, in practice, is controlled by Greece’s creditors.(2)
  • Both major water services cease to have as object the one defined in their statute, meaning the provision of water and sanitation in Athens and Thessaloniki and they are instrumentalized in order to serve a foreign to their object purpose, the purpose of the Superfund.(3)
  • The Greek Government has already approved the sell-off of 11% of EYDAP and 23% of EYATH and therefore private investors are going to enter the Board of both companies. If combined with a friendly to their interests management, these new players have the possibility to fully implement their agenda despite the fact that they possess only a minority of the stocks.(4)

For all the aforementioned reasons we announce today that our initiative in collaboration with other interested parties is proceeding according to the provision of the Greek Law to the necessary legal actions in order to annul the transfer of EYDAP and EYATH to the Superfund.

At the same time, we continue our campaign against water privatization so that our fellow citizens stay continuously informed with regard to its devastating consequences.(5)

Finally, on the premise that the EU Commission must stay neutral in the matter of private or public management of the water services, we demand the disclosure and publication of any correspondence or oral discussions’ minutes between the Greek Government and the Institutions regarding the transfer of EYDAP and EYATH to the Superfund.(6)

We would like to remind to everyone that the Greek citizens have repeatedly expressed their will in an official democratic way and in their vast majority stand against water privatization of any sort.(7) There can be no governance based on the Rule of Law which disrespects a country’s Supreme Court and there can be no democratic state which ignores the will of its People.

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(1) The two companies are privatized in violation of the Constitution as judged by the Supreme Court decision 1906/2014 as all their assets and subsidiaries are transferred to the Superfund which as it is noted in Art. 184 p4 L4389/2016 “does not belong to the public or broader public sector, in the way that each is defined.”

(2) Management and administration of the two companies will therefore be controlled, in practice, by the creditors, taking into account that: a) the Supervisory Board of the Super Fund consists of 5 members two of which are appointed by the creditors (with the consent of the Minister of Finance) and three from the Greek government (with the consent of the creditors) and that b) between the borrower Greek State and the creditors, there is no equal footing since the latter may impose what they want, as it has been repeatedly demonstrated in the past.We shall point out that the Fund’s Board of Directors (appointed by the Supervisors per art. 192.2a of L. 4389/2016) is entitled, among other issues, to execute contracts including such dealing with the supply and provision of services, as are those offered by EYDAP and EYATh. Per art. 194.8 of same Law the Meetings of the Board as well as the Minutes of such and any relevant documents are to be kept secret, despite the fact that such deal with the administration and/or the alienation of Public Property. Furthermore (per art. 202.2 of same Law) the Fund and all subsidiary companies (with the exception of MSF and HRADF) “…in order to proceed with the privatization of any of their assets (in our case the stock of EYDAP and EYATh) may sell, assign and/or in any other possible way transfer any and all properties and/or contractual or real rights (of EYDAP and EYATh) to any capital stock companies and then transfer their shares to any third person/legal entity”. Art. 202.3 of same Law allows the Fund and its subsidiaries (except MSF and HRADF) “…to lease any asset and assign any right of use as well as the administration of any asset … as they consider expedient”

(3) The two companies cease to be public utility agencies with the objective of providing uninterrupted and quality services of water and sanitation to the citizens of Athens and Thessaloniki. They are instrumentalized in a contradictory to their scope way, since they will become by law simple “assets” in EDHS’ portfolio and will serve the Super- Fund’s “specific scope”, as it is mentioned in article 185 para. 1: “The Company manages and leverages its assets in order to: a) contribute resources to implement the investment policy of the country and to proceed to investments that contribute to the enhancement of the development of the Greek economy and b) contribute to the fulfillment of financial obligations of the Greek Republic under Law 4336/2015 (a 94)”.

(4)Decision no33 of the Govermental Council of Economic Policy (Government Gazette 1472B/2016)

(5) In the last 15 years there have been at least 235 cases of water remunicipalisation in 37 countries, both in the global North and South, including high profile cases in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa.

(6) The agreement between the Greek government and its creditors to include EYDAP and EYATH in the new Super-Fund constituteS by both parties, a scandalous breach of the democratically expressed will of the people as this has been recorded at the Thessaloniki referendum on the 18th of May 2014 (where 98,03% of Thessalonians voted against the privatization of EYATh) but also after the successful completion of the ECI right2water in our country and at European level,  demanding the adoption of the human right to water by the EU and the protection of water services from liberalization. (During the procedure the official signatures by Greek citizens surpassed 32.000, when the threshold was 16.000, while in Europe in overall the signatures were more than 1.800.000, when the threshold for a successful ECI is 1.000.000.

(7)According to regulation EC1049/2001 (30 May 2001) with regard to the public access to documents of the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council and Article 255(2) of the EC Treaty, in combination with the Article 345 of TFEU and Article 171 of Directive 2006/123/EC regarding the internal market services which dictates that the European Commission is bound to stay neutral in the matter of public or private management of the water services.


Initiative for the non privatization of water in Greece


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