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Technical summary of the gold mining at Skouries

Category: Country & City Focus
Created on Sunday, 14 January 2024 15:31

Struggle Committee of Megali Panagia, 14 January 2024


Gold mining and gold metallurgy, as well as the mining industry in general, is one of the most polluting activities worldwide, with immediate and long-term effects on the natural environment and humans. In this report, some basic characteristics of gold mining and metallurgy will be elaborated, as briefly as possible, in order to illustrate what gold mining is, how it is carried out and what are its effects. At the same time, some data on the Eldorado Gold project for gold mining and metallurgy in Skouries will be highlighted. The paper also provides a timeline connecting the initial with the updated/new investment plan agreed upon with the Greek government.  

Land grabbing 

First of all, gold mining companies take over the land. In this case, a vast area of public forest land around 31,700 hectares (or 317 square km), is reserved exclusively for the mining project. This means that the mining company has exclusive mining rights over any other activity, for example, logging, beekeeping, agriculture, as well as public research programs or archaeological investigations. But this also means that the company can log and exploit the timber itself. 


Meanwhile, giant deforestation and clearing of vegetation takes place. The forests surrounding the Skouries mining project are valuable. Being near populated areas, they protect against surface runoff and supply drinking water springs. These forests are habitat to a great variety of fauna and native “keystone species”. They are living examples of the primary forest ecosystems of Europe. 

Additional roads 

A vast network of roads is necessary for transportation. In order to facilitate the Skouries project, it is planned to construct hundreds of kilometers of new asphalt road through the forest land, interconnecting with the existing provincial road network. A massive number of heavy-duty vehicles will be passing through this network every day, further damaging the forest and creating traffic congestion on the existing road networks. Further consequences will be dust and noise levels in inhabited areas.  

Mining waste 

Mining companies need a place to dump their waste. Dams will need to be built, in order to create basins to store liquid waste from the metallurgical process. The dams are usually constructed with solid waste from the metallurgy process, and the basins, called tailing ponds, will stay long after the mining process is finished and the mining companies are gone. In the case of the Skouries investment project, the tailing ponds are to be located where one of the primeval forest trees once stood, with a trunk diameter of 1.5 m. The deposition capacity of the tailing ponds will be approximately 65 million cubic metres and the dam wall will be 140 m high, approximately 51 million cubic metres of solid mining waste will be used. 

Open pit mining 

After all the necessary infrastructure is built, mining can start. In the case of Skouries, the project is based on open pit mining, also known as opencast mining. Τhis is a surface mining technique, which involves digging a cone shaped crater with a diameter of hundreds, or even thousands of meters, with the use of TNT explosives. The surface mining will be followed by underground mining. The total quantity of soil to be extracted is around 175.8 million cubic metres, the size of the crater will be around 1 Κm and the total depth of surface plus underground mining 900 metres. Dust emissions from blasting, vehicles and other activities will likely reach 3.116 t/h. 

Metallurgy processing 

Along with mining, the metallurgy processing will take place on site. Giant dumper trucks will transport the mined soil to the metallurgical facilities, in order to be milled into a fine powder. This powder will be transferred into large floatation tanks, where gold concentrate or pure alloy (Dore 99% Au) can be extracted in various stages, with the use of chemical reagents. Out of the 175 million cubic metres that will be mined, the average gold concentration is merely 0.4 g/t, so a huge volume of soil will end up in the tailing ponds and dams. Needless to say, these wastes will be contaminated with the poisonous chemical compounds used in the process of gold extraction. The presence of cyanide and its compounds in gold metallurgy have deadly effects on living beings and its potential use was one of the main arguments against the gold mining projects, both in Olympiada in the past, and in the ongoing struggle in Skouries. In Greece, cyanide use is actually prohibited. 

So it is not by chance that the company, in its initial investment proposal for Skouries, promised a so-called revolutionary, cyanide-free method for gold metallurgy, called flash-smelting, a technique which was eventually abandoned as non feasible in the updated agreement. 

Water grabbing 

The process that takes place prior to everything is the draining of the underlying aquifer. This is a major reason for the mobilization and opposition of the local people against the Skouries project. It is necessary to get rid of the water first because it is impossible to dig a hole in water and it is impossible to work with surface water in the facilities. So, first they come for the land but also for the water. In the updated mining plan, the mining company has absolute power over the water of the area, specifically it will be able to divert, pump and use as much water as it needs. 

At Skouries mining has been happening in a much smaller scale over many years. The draining of the Skouries mountain has been an ongoing process to which all the mining companies have contributed, but nowadays the process has intensified. Pre-drainage canalization of underground water through tunnels, and a great number of drilling projects are necessary. The dozens of boreholes around the perimeter of the mining site will reach up to 140 metres below sea level. Add to those another 157 exploratory boreholes in the wider mining zone, and we are talking about tens of kilometers of drilling in total. 

The main aquifers are in the forest of Skouries, as well as in the wider mountainous area in the NE of Halkidiki. Several streams that enrich the largest river of Halkidiki and a great number of springs that unfortunately are drying up year by year are located in this area. In the last two years, a dramatic decrease in the flow of 5 springs around the village of Megali Panagia have been noticed and some of them have even dried up. The irony is that the Greek government authorities put the blame on climate change when asked for the underlying reason of the phenomenon. 

Water pollution 

In response to public concern on the draining of the mountain, the company came up with another, equally controversial method called 'forced re-entry' of the water in the aquifer. This involves 15-16 re-injection drillings around the perimeter of the site, which will be used to pump the water back into the aquifier. In other words, on the one hand, drainage drillings will drain the water out of the aquifer and on the other hand, re-injection drillings will refill it with contaminated water. 

A number of pollutants such as lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), copper (Cu), manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd) , chromium (Cr), sulfur (S), will become concentrated in the underground and surface water. As an alternative to forced re-entry, in case this method fails, the mining company proposes to channel the water to adjacent streams, assuming that this will contribute to the water supply of the area. It is worth mentioning that arsenic (As) has already been detected in underground water around the area of former mining activity. 

Mining company strategy 

Mining companies are working on the long term. As mentioned before, the time needed to create the infrastructure for mining and metallurgy is long and depends on various factors, such as stock market and metal prices, the financial liquidity of the acting company, bureaucratic responses, social resistance, etc. Mining is a long term process, but mining companies watch the bigger picture for the right time to act.  

As a case in point, the mining company submitted its initial investment plan in 2006, stating its intention to mine and vertically integrate production by the flash-smelting method. The products would be pure metals, alloys of gold, copper and other minerals. It is now clear that this cyanide-free process was proposed strategically, in order to soften local community reaction. It was also designed to sweeten the Greek government, as this vertically integrated procedure would mean the production of pure metals as end products, and as such subject to a 'mining fee' bringing state revenue. 

Some 13 years later, in 2019, the mining company strikes a new, revised investment agreement with the Greek government, on the grounds that the existing one is outdated. It subseqently succeeds in being exempted from the obligations and duties stemming from the previous investment agreement, on vertically integrated production using flash-smelting. 

New investment agreement and public responsability 

In other words, the mining company in charge of the largest investment for decades in Greece, is the owner of a huge forest area, where it operates with little public accountability, having fulfilled few of its initial obligations. While the obligation to start mining in 2009 has not been met, the company is further exempted from its initial responsibilities, while the Greek state undertakes even more obligations, by ratifying a new agreement in “good faith”. This term is repeated a lot in the new agreement and it has created a great deal of concern. A separate article in the agreement will examine what this means. 

One example of how “good faith” works, is the memorandum of understanding and cooperation (sic) between the mining company and the Greek Archeology Department. The company has already announced the existence of three archeological sites where the future crater is located and around the main site. In the memorandum the department commits that, in the case of archaeological discoveries it will comply with the company's project implementation timeframe; otherwise, this will constitute a so-called 'event of public responsibility'. This term has also created a lot of community concern and consists in the fact that the Greek government, in certain cases of violation of the agreement, must undertake a series of actions in order to rectify the violation. If it fails, then it has to compensate the company. All licensing and permits from the Greek state, also fall under the “event of public responsibility” clause. 

People are pawns and laws are there only to be bent. The mining company has always treated employment as a leverage over the local community. This has triggered conflict among the citizens of the village of Megali Panagia, which led to the rupture of the social fabric, a wound that has not healed yet. Targeted employment offers were made to certain people during the early years of the company, in order to create a positive climate. While the company in its initial agreement with the Greek state had committed to hiring 90% of its workforce from local communities, in the new agreement it will only prioritize the local population over non-locals, provided that they have the required skills. 

Unprecedented degradation of labor rights 

In the new agreement, there is an unprecedented degradation of established labor rights. For example, strikes are now considered to be an event of force majeure, just like earthquakes, extreme weather phenomena, wars, acts of terrorism, etc., therefore the company can suspend its obligations. Non-peaceful protests are also considered an event of force majeure, and if they take place the company will once again have the right to suspend its obligations. 

In September 2023, three retaliatory dismissals were announced by the mining company as a result of the workers attempts to unionize. The workers then went on strike for this. Since ratification of the new agreement in 2019, hundreds of workers have been laid off. It is already clear to them that the future is not as bright as initially promised. 

Resolution of disputes in international arbitration courts 

While the right to strike and demonstrate are being infringed, the company, contrary to standard practice, enjoys an unprecedented, untouchable status as the resolution of disputes with Greek state will no longer be within the jurisdiction of Greek courts, but will be resolved in international arbitration courts. The company is also protected from prying eyes, since confidentiality agreements between the company and the Greek state are to be signed. It is also important to point out that although environmental inspections are to be carried out by independent auditors, these will be hired by the company itself. The new agreement also includes clauses for further tax exemptions for the company, on the merit that it is funded by foreign capital, based on a dubious -but nevertheless an existing- legal framework also used for the tax exemptions of Greek ship-owners and the Golden Visa program. Notes by the Megali Panagia Struggle Committee describe the financing of the mining company by foreign capital, including by the EBRD

In conclusion, with the unprecedented level of influence that the company has achieved, it is not far from truth to say that local communities have found themselves in something of a hostage situation. 

Thessaloniki and Athens water back in State hands

Category: Country & City Focus
Created on Thursday, 27 July 2023 14:44

27 July 2023

Today the Greek Government implemented the decision 8/2023 of the CoS (Council of State) Compliance Committee by legislating the exit of EYATH from Superfund, and its return to the State.

With a 12-line amendment, the Water of Thessaloniki returns to the management of the State, where the Constitution has always stipulated. 

In 2011, the Hellenic Privatisation Fund (TAIPED) was established and EYATH - EYDAP were included in it for sale. A struggle was launched to keep Water as a common  good under Public control.

In 2023, after dozens of mobilizations, a grandiose referendum on Water, the transformation of the Hellenic Water Fund to Superfund, and five decisions of the Council of State, the country's largest water companies are returned to the state.

An amendment in July 2022 was interposed by which the Government annulled the decisions 190/2022 & 191/2022 of the CoS for the exit of EYATH- EYDAP from the Superfund, an amendment - an anti-democratic diversion.

This was followed by decisions 7&8/2023 (March 2023) of the CoS Compliance Committee, which forced the Government to withdraw its anti-democratic diversion.

At midnight on April 2, after the Concert for Water at Aristotelous Square in Thessaloniki (30.000 spectators) the first declarations for the implementation of the CoS decisions started by government officials. 

The government was forced to comply with the decisions of the Council of State and the will of millions of citizens.

We could not celebrate in a situation where the country is literally burning, canadair pilots and train passengers are being sacrificed in the name of "less state", energy and all public goods have been privatized, and the logic of "go where the sun goes" is becoming the norm.

Let the fight for water become an example to take back our lives and our land.

Today a great cycle is closing; we are preparing for the next cycles that have already opened, PPPs, Water regulatory, Public Taps.

Thank you, to each and every one of you who throughout these 12 years believed, supported, fought, struggled, frustrated, tired, encouraged, and finally vindicated with us. Without each and every one of you, Water would be in private hands.

Struggle’s justice, took a lot from you,
But Life as at postpartum, gave birth to hope.
(lyrics from a Greek struggle song) 

This text is the English translation of the
announce on the website of the EYATH Employees Union

A grassroots concert about water impacts politics in Greece

Category: Country & City Focus
Created on Sunday, 02 April 2023 11:19

On the 2nd of April, a concert for the protection of the public ownership of water, held on the main square of Thessaloniki, Greece, had a major impact on Greek society. Musicians known for their political speech and activity, not conforming with a rather widespread apolitical view of a great part of the mass media, accepted the invitation of the worker’s syndicate of EYATH (the public water company of Thessaloniki) which organized the concert, and contributed – along with many volunteers workers of the company, collectivities and students – to one of the most massive music gatherings in the history of the city, with a clear and straightforward message;

Defend Water
Public goods above their profits.

There is a rather turbulent background preceding the concert. The conservative government of New Democracy has twice attempted to pass legislation leading to the privatization of the water, the second of which was a trick to overpass a clear command by the Council of the State that water should stay under public control. Roughly a quarter of EYATH’s shares are an asset of the Hellenic Fund (Superfund), an institution which, among other assets, possesses estates and shares conceded to it as a result of the memorandums Greek governments have signed during the period of economic and debt crisis. The Council of State has explicitly ordered that the aforementioned shares return under public control, reassuring, thus, the public ownership of water.

Inclusion of EYDAP and EYATH in the Superfund is unconstitutional according to the 4th Departement of the Council of State

Category: Press Releases
Created on Tuesday, 16 June 2020 20:29

16 June 2020

With two historic, major legal and political decisions (1223/2020 and 1224/2020), the 4th Department of the Council of State ruled unconstitutional the provisions of Law 4389/2016, which transferred the majority (50,003%) of shares of EYDAP and EYATH in the "Hellenic Holdings and Property Company SA" (Superfund).

The State Counselors of the 4th Department of the Council of State unanimously ruled that the allegations of the applicants (EYATH Workers' Union and EYDAP Workers' Federation) on the provisions of Article 191 of Law 4389/2016 are valid. The Supervisory Board of EESYP (Superfund) violates article 28 par. 2 of the Constitution and it is pointed out that according to law 4389/2016 after the transfer of shares in EESYP, the control of EYDAP and EYATH left the Greek State and fell into the hands of the European Commission and the European Stability Mechanism, through their members in the Board of Directors of EESYP.

This decision of the 4th Department of the Council of State (which due to their importance were referred to the Plenary Session of the Supreme Court of Cassation for final judgment) is a huge victory for the workers of EYDAP and EYATH, the citizens and the movements for Public Water. A second victory after the decision 1906/2014 of the Plenary Session of the Council of State that had deemed unconstitutional the transformation of EYDAP into a private company, and forced the transfer of the majority of shares from the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund back to the State.

Declaration of organizations and movements for the co-operative management of the Thessaloniki water by citizens

Category: Country & City Focus
Created on Thursday, 22 March 2018 11:38


Citizens of Thessaloniki,

now that the processes of water privatization (EYATH, EYDAP) are moving again,
now that it was clearly perceived the illusion that the assignment of our affairs to third parties (parties, governments and all kinds of power) can provide solutions for the benefit of citizens,
now it's time for us all to realize that if we do not get the citizens themselves the management of the water in our hands, no one will save us!

Update of the Greek Water situation

Category: Country & City Focus
Created on Wednesday, 24 January 2018 11:10

Thessaloniki, 24th of January 2018

On 15th January, the Greek parliament voted a law to pass the 3rd evaluation of the Troika. Among others, the law includes the transfer of water companies (51%) straight to the Superfund. When the Superfund was created, the idea was that all public companies would be transferred to a holding company which would be a subsidiary of the Superfund. In fact, the new scenario is worse than the previous one.

Just a day after the vote in parliament, TAIPED (HRADF) announced the update of its privatization projects, among them 24% of EYATH (water company of Thessaloniki) and 11% of EYDAP (water company of Athens). Since the 3rd memorandum, they had been talking about selling 23% of EYATH; which now has become 24%, leaving the public with only 50% + one shares.

In September 2016, the Union of EYATH workers sued the Supreme Court for the creation of the Superfund and the transfer of EYATH to it. This case will be judged by the end of February. Now we are researching whether the 2016 action to sue is consistent with the transfer that will take place on 15th January or whether we need a new one!

The Right to the City in an Age of Austerity

Category: Reports & Publications
Created on Tuesday, 14 November 2017 16:02

In Greece, resistance to austerity comprises a mosaic of struggles for a right to the city, conceived as the collective self-determination of everyday life.

When talking about Greece and “the crisis,” it is easy to fall in the trap of “Greek exceptionalism.” After all, it is through essentializing orientalist narratives that austerity and structural adjustment have been justified: the Greeks are corrupt, lazy and crisis-prone, and they should be adapted and civilized for their own good. There is a flipside to the orientalist gaze, however, which ascribes extraordinary qualities to the other: the Greeks have a surplus of collectivism, revolutionary zeal or solidarity, which makes them more likely to organize and resist.

Both these narratives prevent us from seeing that the conditions that brought about the “Greek crisis” are prevalent in many parts of the world, that capital is moving towards policies of exclusion and dispossession even in the capitalist center, and that resistance is not the prerogative of southern peoples, but will soon be the only reasonable response even in the north. In fact, the “Greek crisis” is neither “Greek” — since it is only a symptom of the shift of global capitalism towards a new regime of accumulation based on shock and dispossession — nor is it a “crisis” in the sense of an extraordinary event. Instead, it represents a new normality that threatens to shake the very foundations of social coexistence. Nevertheless, Greece has been a privileged spot for observing how this global paradigm shift plays out within the boundaries of a single nation-state.

Press release of the German network of solidarity with Greece

Category: Press Releases
Created on Thursday, 13 July 2017 20:50

Handing over more than 170.000 signatures against water privatization in Greece on the 19th of June in Brussels to the President of the Eurogroup Working Group Thomas Wieser

Greece is being forced to privatize its two largest water companies in Thessaloniki and in Athens. This arouses big outrage and resistance is growing.

“The access to water is a human right. Water is a public property and not an object of trading.” This appeal signed by almost 2 million people induced the EU to give up the plan of water privatization - except for its southern countries, where the policy of the Troika puts pressure on politics to privatize water supply. So the Greek Parliament had to agree in transfering the large water companies EYDAP and EYATH to the newly founded superfund, controlled by the creditors, for privatization. Otherwise they would not be given the next credits.

Fighting for Water Democracy in the EU following the right2water ECI

Category: Country & City Focus
Created on Friday, 13 January 2017 20:56

SaveGreekWater has participated in the 2-day work meetings of the event «Fighting for Water Democracy in the EU following the right2water ECI» organised in the European Parliament by the Independent MEP Sofia Sakorafa with the support and presence of MEP Lynn Boylan from Ireland, MEP Stefan Eck from Germany and MEP Joao Pimenta Lopez from Portugal. In the context of this event and as part of its actions in tackling water privatization in Greece, SaveGreekWater announced the deposition of an official request to the European Council for disclosing any information relevant to the transfer of water services at the new privatization superfund (H.C.A.P.) dated after the 1906/2014 decision of Greece’s Council of State which had judged as unconstitutional the privatization of water services either by stock percentage or by management privatization. According to European Law, the European Council is obliged to answer to this request in 15 days. It is worth noting that any pressure to privatize water is in violation of the article 345 of the EU Treaty and it is furthermore contrary to the suggestions of the European Parliament’s resolution that urges the European Commission not to push the countries under financial programs as to this matter.

This is how water privatization is going to be annuled

Category: Country & City Focus
Created on Saturday, 08 October 2016 19:04



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.

How the new Greek Super-Fund affects water services

Category: Country & City Focus
Created on Saturday, 21 May 2016 21:57

With this press release, SaveGreekWater attempts to investigate the consequences of the to-be-approved multi bill, on the Greek water services EYATH and EYDAP.

As John Locke, one of the Enlightenment founders, so our initiative believes that “the actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts”. After addressing this quote to those in power as well as to those who should control them, we consider it our duty that one of our “actions” should be to inform our fellow citizens.

In an effort to pierce through the uproar of misleading screaming voices and shifting of focus which constitute nowadays the greek “public sphere”, with this press release, we attempt to investigate the consequences of the to-be-approved multi bill, on the Greek water services since EYATH and EYDAP are both mentioned in an article in appendix D of the bill which establishes, among others, a “Super-Fund”, entitled “Hellenic Company of Assets and Participations S.A. (HCAP).

In the draft of the bill (Article 198), EYATH and EYDAP appear among those publicly controlled companies which will be transferred in their entirety to EDHS (“Company of Public Paticipations S.A.”) within “a next period of time”, with EDHS being founded at the same bill and described as one of the subsidiaries of the new “Super- Fund”.

Open letter from the European Water Movement on the Greek elections

Category: Press Releases
Created on Monday, 19 January 2015 15:24

Brussels, 19 january 2015.

Greece will vote for a new government this week. These elections are a great opportunity to reverse years of austerity and unfair measures imposed over Greek people by the Troika. Among those measures, the privatization of water services, challenged by a great mobilization of Greek civil society and now blocked by justice.

Despite the international scaremongering campaign run by the supporters of the Troika, the European Water Movement calls on all social movements and civil society to stand up against this interference. The Greek people are sovereign to choose their own government and those parties that oppose austerity and want to run policies based on principles of social equity, focused on people's rights and the defense of the public and commons. The European Water Movement also calls especially on those candidates that have campaigned for the Human Right to Water and against privatization of water in Greece and at European level for accomplishing with their position statements.

1st Panhellenic Meeting of collectives for the water management

Category: Agenda
Created on Friday, 12 September 2014 15:03

1st panhellenic meeting

Critique of political economy of water and the collaborative alternative

Category: Reports & Publications
Created on Monday, 25 August 2014 13:13

The approach and recognition of the water (and in general, water supply and sanitation) as a commons, a social good and a fundamental human right or vice versa, as a commodity and / or as a means for taxing citizens determines the policy management: private, public, social, based or not on democratic participation of citizens and workers[1].

The results of the private management of water, which is applied worldwide, are now known: degradation of water quality, increased water loss, deterioration of infrastructure and increasing prices[1][2]. The results of the public or social or public-community, based on cooperation between public and local and regional bodies, cooperatives, trade unions and other collectives of a community are also known: accomplished citizen involvement, strengthened quality water services and lower prices[1][3].

Decision of the Athens Court against HRADF

Category: Country & City Focus
Created on Tuesday, 15 July 2014 14:31

Thessaloniki, 15 july 2014.

Catapult against HRADF (Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund) is the decision of the Athens Court on the injunction application asked by "Citizens Union for the Water", a secondary level Union of Thessaloniki Water Cooperatives, set up by the Initiative K136, to claim the 51% stake in EYATh in the name of the citizens of Thessaloniki.

Three times we asked - via the lawful route - information on the process and criteria by which the HRADF excluded the "Citizens Union for the Water" from the second phase of the tender for the privatization of 51% of EYATh. HRADF flatly refused to give any information or data, arguing that it is "private company" and is not required to give anything. The third time, the Union appealed to the Court of Athens for injunctive relief.

We currently publish this decision by which the Court of Athens requires HRADF give to the Citizens Union for the Water all the requested data, rejecting the complaints on the company's "private law".

Initiative K136 press release

Category: Country & City Focus
Created on Wednesday, 02 July 2014 15:08

2 July 2014,

Regarding the HRADF (Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund) communication at the recent General Assembly of EYATh Shareholders, stating inter alia that "respects the reactions of the local community" Initiative K136 has to observe the following:

-- The HRADF at the recent meeting with representatives of the referendum organizers, said that does nothing by itself, but that the government said. So the question is what the government will do after the referendum, which has not yet clarified its stance. Hence, the issue of privatization has not ended, instead remains open.

-- The HRADF sure to leak scenarios for continuity, usually a "well informed sources" saying that "the Fund then has three options:

  1. Divest a minority shareholding. To sell that as much as 24% to a "strategic investor" transferring the management too. In this case, the strategic investor will undertake the management of the company but the Greek government will retain control.
  2. Disposal of shares (again up to 24%) through the stock exchange and the government retaining the management.
  3. Return the entire amount to the State by cancelling not only the sale plan, but also the investor entry.

CoS “listened” to the people: The first big win for water belongs to all of us

Category: Country & City Focus
Created on Thursday, 12 June 2014 15:41

Since the beginning of the disclosure of the government’s intention to privatize water services, throughout the changes in leadership in EYDAP and TAIPED until a few days ago, a struggle with the use of law and logic was given against the enclosure and grabbing of the collective good of water. After almost three years, the citizens who signed the European Citizens ‘Initiative, these who were informed and passed this information to others, all those who formed a proper and documented opinion about the risks of privatization through our arthrography, argumentation and campaign, the citizens’ movements in Thessaloniki and the county, we can all, without exceptions, feel proud of the first major victory which was won by the citizens united.

Watching closely during all this time the legal proceedings of the case of the residents and associations recourse to the Council of State and thinking how could we help in this effort, we never stopped all this time to contribute voluntarily, yet with professionalism, in this “unequal” race of informing people and creating alliances in Greece and abroad, with the help of alternative media, newspapers, radio and media abroad. This campaign in favor of rationality and documented reasoning, qualities that are both missing from the public dialogue, was successful in shaping a trend against privatization formed by the beliefs of the majority of the Greek people as expressed not only in polls but also by the overwhelming 98% “NO to EYATH privatization” of the referendum of Thessaloniki. We believe that this trend is reflected in the decision of the State Council at its highest level, which is its plenary session.

The referendum on the water of Thessaloniki

Category: Country & City Focus
Created on Wednesday, 11 June 2014 13:00

Brief History

The referendum for the privatization or not of EYATh (Thessaloniki water and sewerage company) held in Thessaloniki on 18 May 2014, is a golden page in the history of the city.

The idea was initiated by the EYATh Workers Association in 2011, visited the municipalities of the city, discussed the proposal and asked to take decisions against the privatization of EYATh and in favor of a referendum.

In March 2013 the EYATh Association of Workers invited municipalities, organizations and citizens of Thessaloniki, for the establishment of a great alliance against the privatization of EYATh. Municipalities of the Thessaloniki area, Initiative 136 (K 136), the Citizens' Union for Water (second-level union of water cooperatives) and the 12 non-profit water cooperatives were co-founding members of the coordinating body.

The coordinating organizations and citizens during the 2013 restored the proposal of the Workers Association since 2011, for a referendum on the water. The decision was finally at a meeting on February 17, 2014.

Critical judgment of Council of State: No to the privatization of EYDAP SA!

Category: News from the Ground
Created on Monday, 26 May 2014 16:20

The justice cancels the transfer of 34% shares of the EYDAP SA to the HRADF - The judgment of the Council of State for EYDAP is a "pilot" also for EYATh.

No to the privatization of EYDAP, from the plenary of the Council of State; this annulled the government's decision to pass (without consideration) the 34.033% of the share capital (36,245,240 shares) of EYDAP, from the Greek State to the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF).

By Decision No. 1906/2014 Case published two days before the current Euro-elections, the Plenary of the Council of State accepted the request of some Athens citizens for EYDAP. With this decision, -which is the "pilot" for the privatization of EYATh-, considered that the conversion of EYDAP in private company is contrary to Articles 5 and 21 of the Constitution, which require the attention of state for public health, and also ensures the right to health protection.

Letter to EYATH bidders after the Thessaloniki's referendum

Category: Press Releases
Created on Wednesday, 21 May 2014 18:49

Brussels, 22 may 2014

To the companies bidding for EYATH, the Thessaloniki Water and Sewage Company:

Thessaloniki people has spoken, please withdraw your bid

Once again, we write you to demand that you withdraw your bid for EYATH, the Thessaloniki Water and Sewage Company. On May 18th, citizens of Thesaloniki have clearly expressed their strong opposition to the privatization of the public water company in a popular consultation. The No to privatization got the support of 98%, out of 218,000 people voting.

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