Article by Georgia Bekridaki, Dock, Greece

Many efforts have been made during the years while Greece has been under close surveillance by the EU and the period of memoranda for the direct or indirect privatization of public resources, places and spaces!

It is a period when neoliberalism is also going through a crisis and has launched an attack on the public sphere of common goods. Our cities are being handed over for the exclusively use of the tourist industry, displacing populations and destroying local culture. Energy public companies have been sold in order to put an end to state monopolies, with the result that Greece is in the top five of the most expensive electricity bills in Europe.

So since 2012 there have been relentless efforts towards the privatization of the water company, partly in maintenance, operation and the external water supply system.

In 2016 following a demand by creditors and memoranda, the state-owned water companies were transferred to the Growth privatization fund..!

Citizens organised an appeal to the Council of State, which resulted in the almost unanimous decisions that the transfer of “water” to the Growth fund was unconstitutional, as it aimed to make profit at the expense of the quality and affordability of operational services.

The one court desicion followed the other in favour of the public nature of the water however, the government did not comply and so in March 2023 it passes new legislation where water service providers and legal entities under private law are allowed to be water service providers.

The city’s movements defending the public and social nature of water have organized awareness campaigns and the Union of the public company at the city of Thessaloniki organized a big awareness and mobilization concert with the slogan “Water from the source to the tap is indivisible, it is not fragmented, it cannot be given to private individuals”.