Letter to Thessaloniki water bidders

The letter below (drafted together with the movement in Thessaloniki) was sent to the investors and companies that wish to partake in the privatisation of the water company of Thessaloniki. We ask them to withdraw their bid as they are not wanted in Thessaloniki. It is a simple and concrete way in which we can assist the unions, municipalities and social movements in Greece.

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

We do not want you in Thessaloniki. Please withdraw your bid.

The press has reported that your company is participating in a bid for Eyath, the Thessaloniki Water and Sewage Company. We ask you to withdraw your bid.

You will be aware that the privatisation of Eyath is opposed by the citizens of the city, by the workers as well as by the municipalities of Thessaloniki. The only reason that this privatisation is going ahead is because it is imposed by the Greek government, itself under pressure from the Troika to reduce Greek debt. There is nothing noble in profiting from this privatisation for you and your company. People in Thessaloniki, supported by many groups are concerned that you pursue profits at the expense of workers and citizens. As in other places, you will likely face years of protracted opposition both in Thessaloniki, Greece and across the world. These struggles are well documented. The companies involved find their reputations tarnished, their credibility in shreds, their risks increased and profits limited. We believe your bid is based on a feeble business case. We would hope that corporations today don’t base their business model on opportunism, nor venture into initiatives where they are clearly unwelcome.

There is an alternative to your bid that is supported by the workers of Eyath, by Thessonikians, by the municipalities, and us. That is to keep water in public ownership and ensure it can continue to deliver a high quality service. It is based on the fact that water is a common good and access to drinking water and sanitation is a basic human right as recognized by the UN (2010) and the successful European Citizens Initiative "Water a Human Right".

We therefore ask you to withdraw your bid and let the citizens of Thessaloniki determine the future of Eyath.

Yours sincerely,

Signed by Greek, European and International organisations, Members of the European Parliament, Individuals