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%. 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. 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. So the basic situation is not complicated - we don't have the water where and when we require it.". 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. But Initiative 136 is just getting started. 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. 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. Greece wouldn’t be the first place to privatize public water utilities during a fiscal crisis. Australian water program creates opportunities for US technology companies. “Citizens sympathized with our activism. Purdue-led team advances in national solar desal innovation contest. 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. “They’re not threatened.” Not yet anyway. Greece to move forward with privatization of energy, mining companies. Photo: Unsplash. Conditioning loans based on full or partial water privatization is an increasingly common practice of international lenders — and much criticized. High nitrogen discharges imperil the coastline with eutrophication. Marioglou is concerned about how sewage treatment and water source stewardship would fare in a private business guided by short-term profit interests. Surprising to many, Greece is endowed with abundant water resources of 58 billion cubic meters per year. Saudi Arabian leadership launches Water Transmission and Technologies Company. This research investigates potential contributions by the privatization of water production to sustainability of water supply. Archontopoulos and Mariglou are confounded by the government’s claim that it will reduce debt through privatization. Greece: Water Privatisation Battle. In such a swift and fast moving situation it's of course impossible to predict what the outcome is likely to be. 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. the memorandums. Jeremy Josephs is freelance contributor for WWi magazine. By Maria Paradia for Occupy - 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. 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. 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. More Water & WasteWater International Current Issue Articles, More Water & WasteWater International Archives Issue Articles, New microscope technique reveals details of droplet nucleation, Antwerp desalination plant will convert dock water into process water for industry, ABB provides digital water management solutions to India’s Koppal district, Final WRDA package leaves clean water out, Four killed in explosion at water treatment plant in Bristol. You will receive email updates, event invitations, opportunities to help fund initiatives and other communications from the Council of … The Irish anti-water charges campaign became ‘inspirational' to the people of Greece, according to Maria Karagianni, a member of Syriza's youth wing, who was closely involved in the three yearlong running anti-privatisation campaign which culminated in a referendum in May 2014 in which the people voted overwhelming "Okh'I" -- no in Greek. The water utilities of both Athens and Thessaloniki are modern and well-functioning and there is no logical rationale for privatisation. But since the program was presented by the previous socialist Papandreou cabinet rather than the new left-leaning and ruling Syriza party, the plan is now officially "under review". After a legal action the Supreme court declared the plan of water privatization as illegal, because the Greek Constitution says explicitly, … 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. Peel-off coating aims to improve desalination. 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. The recent financial crisis has not only tested Greek democracy, but its water as well. The battles relating to the merging of Greece's utilities pale into insignificance when compared to the issue of water privatisation. The above attempt appears as an alternative proposition as opposed to the state-driven full privatization of EYATH S.A. Brent Patterson. The EU supported the construction of numerous wastewater treatment plants since the 1990s in … Initiative 136’s organizers propose that the neighbourhood cooperatives decide on such issues as water tariffs and an investment budget. Black & Veatch extends its AMP7 role with Thames Water. “That’s the public’s money. Section 4 explores the privatization efforts of the two largest public water companies of Greece, namely the Thessaloniki Water Supply and Sewerage S.A. (EYATH) and the Athens Water Supply and Sewerage S.A. (EYDAP). Yet, like its finances, mismanagement has left the country's 230 different municipal utilities in need of help. That profit margin has, however, diminished in the last 9 months. Why should we be obliged to ask a shopkeeper to use their rest room? Carlsberg Group, Desolenator announce water resources partnership in India. It has never simply been a campaign to protect state jobs. It should be 2 metres but they make it 4 metres.” It rankles Marioglou that the state company has laid off almost half of the water workers in recent years — water workers who could be fixing leaky pipes. Modern day Greece continues to be plagued by severe and regular water shortages, especially on the Greek islands, some of which are supplied by tanker ships or have turned to desalination for water supply. “This is a very important detail,” says Archontopoulos. … Sweetheart contracts with politically-connected contractors, for example, are commonplace. But Marioglou and Initiative 136 members insist that state business-as-usual just isn’t working. Greece wouldn’t be the first place to privatize public water utilities during a fiscal crisis. But everything comes with a price. Greece’s economic woes continue to pile up, with key public utilities such as water now on the chopping block of privatization. The Initiative also draws support from among the mayors and local town councils of Thessaloniki’s metropolitan areas. 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. And certainly not Greece Lightning. The French water company, Suez, owns 5 percent of EYATH, and could increase its share if privatization proceeds. The Vukovar Water Tower is one of the most recognizable symbols of Vukovar's defense in the 1991 Croatian Homeland War. “Although the people’s message after two elections (6th of May and 17th of June) was clearly that of renegotiating the debt and the measures imposed by the Troika,” said Theodoros Karyotis, a member of Initiative 136, “the new government continues to apply the Troika program.”. 53–70, Jingumae 5-chome,Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925, Japan Tel: +81 3 5467 1212Fax: +81 3 3499 2828, Designed and Developed They should give it back to people or install drinking fountains or build public toilets. Because it would be unmanageable to have one large citizen body oversee the city’s entire water works, explained Marioglou, they will decentralize. Greeks have suffered from repeated droughts, the most recent one occurring in 2007. Thessaloniki’s citizens do. by the UNU Office of Communications, Greeks Stand up to Protect Their Water from Privatization, “Buying back the public, 136 euros at a time”, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, http://onthecommons.org/magazine/greeks-stand-protect-their-water-privatization, Water and Sustainable Land Use in the Wakhan Valley. He asserted the government would soon introduce the so-called target model so that power producers … International team develops biomimetic membrane for desalinating seawater. Water privatisation might be off of the Greek agenda, for the moment at least. “You can tell if a society is democratic if its water is available to everyone, if it’s clean, and in public hands.” That’s how Kostas Marioglou sees it. Facility in Dumai, Indonesia will have a capacity of 50 liters per second (180m3/h), consisting of 120 NX Filtration dNF80 membrane modules. 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. Why, nothing less than "particular Greek assets". This seems an entirely appropriate analogy for the thunderbolt which has befallen the Greek economy in recent years. © 2020 Endeavor Business Media, LLC. Russia may well be prepared to throw some money towards Greece but at what price? A referendum in Thessaloniki against the privatization of the water company was signed by 213.508 people, 98% of all counted votes. For what is happening in the water sector is clearly intimately bound up with what is happening higher up the economic and political chains. All this will be further compounded by the lack of a concrete … There, European allies offered to help raise additional funds to purchase the company. ... (Hellenic Petroleum), a host of beaches and foreshores that comprise tens of thousands of hectares, the water supply (EYDAP, … It captures people’s imagination broadly, countering the fear, cynicism and uncertainty caused by the Greek political system and the debt crisis. 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. 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”. ", 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 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 cooperatives would play a co-management role with the public water utility and serve as water watchdogs, stewards of the public good. 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. Daniel Moss is coordinator of On the Commons‘ (OTC) partner organization Our Water Commons and recently co-authored Water Commons, Water Citizenship and Water Security: Revolutionizing Water Management and Governance for Rio + 20 and Beyond. The Initiative seeks to establish a network of 16 cooperatives in Thessaloniki to manage a truly public company. Initiative 136 is not an effort to preserve the status quo. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Today, approximately 21 percent of EYATH trades on the Athens stock market. We’ll decide on public investments.”. In fact, Marioglou bristled at the characterization of EYATH as a public utility. Greece wouldn't be the first place to privatize public water utilities during a fiscal crisis. We are not fighting for our jobs, we fight for our water, for poor people who really now cannot pay the water bill.”. The country’s massive privatization program is a condition of its third bailout. The company’s value is estimated at 50 million Euros, while the country’s debt exceeds 400 billion.”. 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. Sulzer overhauls main pumps in water station pumping to ensure decades of reliability. [quote quote=”We are not fighting for our jobs, we fight for our water, for poor people who really now cannot pay the water bill.” type=”text” author=”George Archontopoulos, EYATH workers union president”]. So much so that in virtually every institution, from the EU to the OECD and the IMF there is now incessant and anguished discussion about the possible ramifications of what is referred to as Grexit - a Greek withdrawal from the Eurozone monetary union. Conditioning loans based on full or partial water privatization is an increasingly common practice of international lenders -- and much criticized. ... work with eager Greek political parties to balance the books by selling off public water. Forward dive for long-lasting Landia mixers at St Andrews. 9 years ago. NX Filtration to supply hollow fiber nanofiltration membranes for Indonesian drinking water plant. 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. Al Khobar II Seawater Desalination Project to employ LG Chem RO Membranes. Farmers protested and burned an EYATH facility, demanding that the company only take as much as flowed naturally. 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. Surprising to many, Greece is endowed with abundant water resources of 58 billion cubic meters per year. The hybrid strategy combines a polyamide matrix and artificial water channels into a single structure for use on an industrial scale. They support continued state ownership. “Why should the state company make a profit?” asked Marioglou, exasperated. Teams have maintained efficiency and key savings while providing essential water treatment services. The Kallikratis plan for local government reform was designed to merge these smaller municipalities and utilities into larger units. Published. The 700m-euro (£605m; $913m) sale of a third of the Opap business to a Greek-Czech investment fund is the first of a string of privatisation deals required under the international bailout. 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 duration of the government's participation in the superfund was set … WTTCO will manage and maintain water transmission, distribution and storage systems across the country. Conditioning loans based on full or partial water privatization is an increasingly … “Everyday, people come to central offices, trying to negotiate the water payment because even water is expensive for them.”. Even in his halting English, Marioglou was careful to distinguish between public and state. Until now, Marioglou and Archontopoulos have not suffered political persecution for his organizing work. What is clear is that nothing is likely to happen at a lightning pace. Thessaloniki draws its drinking water from both springs and the Aliakmon River. 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. 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. "While the north is rich in water resources as you move towards eastern Greece and the Aegean, well, precipitation falls dramatically. 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. Unsurprisingly, this has impacted heavily on each and every aspect of the country's water sector. Government plans to privatise two of Athens' largest water companies didn't go according to plan but at what price for international involvement in the country? The union badly wants to stop the threatened privatization, but if it does proceed, the cooperatives will do their best to hold the company accountable. Section 5 lists the consequences of water services privatization in indebted (and not only) countries and section 6 the potential consequences of water privatization in … 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. Cons of Water Privatization. ... 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. InEight awarded five-year software transformation contract by Sydney Water. 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. And as an increasingly arid nation, good water management is fundamental to its future, both political and physical. For those citizens patient enough to read the … Corporations have a tendency to put profits above people. In Greece, the privatization of the water utilities of the two main Greek cities, Athens (EYDAP) and Thessaloniki (EYATH), was imposed as part of the ‘shock therapy’ deemed necessary to solve the country’s financial woes. Water and sewerage is under public management in Greece. Tens of thousands protest against austerity in Greece. A mainstream media poll showed significant support for Initiative 136. But there are other developments in the Mediterranean. It is also cheaper and easier for EYATH to distribute. Greece is under enormous pressure to privatize its water system. Although the Greek corporate media are dead silent when it comes to privatizations of EYATH and EYDAP, despite our very frequent press releases, yet, in our globalized era one can get easily a hand on international newspapers. Only a percentage of stakes will be sold to private investors, while the majority will remain to the state; it has already returned to the state from the Greek Privatization Fund HARDF. September 17, 2020. Both Suez Environnement and Mekerot were expectantly unavailable for comment on the issue. Other left parties argue that the public shouldn’t have to buy the company from the state — it’s already theirs. This article appears courtesy of On the Commons and contains some editorial adjustments by Our World 2.0. 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). Turning back to Greece, the final word on water privatization may change, as it has done through interventions from both sides. Water privatization has been at the receiving end of some major criticism. Greece knows a thing or two about democracy. 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. The full privatization of water companies EYDAP in Athens and EYATH in Thessaloniki has been cancelled. NEWS: Protests against austerity and water privatization in Greece continue. “They think it’s a romantic idea, that it will never happen,” Marioglou said. "To free up water with a view to doing better and more sustainable things. It's crazy. An article entitled “Buying back the public, 136 euros at a time” reports that “EYATH has an annual profit of 75 million Euros (EUR) and in 2010 and 2011, despite the debt crisis, their profit rose to 12.4 million and 20.18 million Euros, respectively”. The Greek parliament went further still - arguing that the companies should be sold off in their entirety. “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.”. [quote quote=”Initiative 136’s organizers propose that the neighbourhood cooperatives decide on such issues as water tariffs and an investment budget.” type=”text” ]. 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. Marioglou asserts that the cooperatives will also do a better job of ensuring water source protection. Edit the famous song title from the film Grease and you have Greece Lightning. Despite the severe social crisis in Greece, EYDAP and EYATH have been providing high quality, essential services at one of the most affordable tariffs in Europe. To simplify matters you can divide Greece with a line through the center. All rights reserved. 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. Greeks Stand Up to Protect Their Water From Privatization. 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. Rebel cities are not just built on many powerful ideas: They are built on the power of many … Plans for Privatization of Greek Water Companies “freeze” June 30, 2014 Very Mix Comments Off on Plans for Privatization of Greek Water Companies “freeze” 87 Views The project to privatize the Public Water Companies in Thessaloniki (EYATH) and Athens (EYDAP) is been on hold after the State Council ruled that the water has to remain “under strong state control.” Still to be sold are sensitive infrastructure assets such as railways, ports, and water or energy utilities. 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. 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