Open letter of the Initiative 136 to the Prime Minister regarding the acceleration of the process of sale of Ε.Υ.Α.TH

Mr. President of the Government, Mr. Vice President and Mr. Minister of Finance, we are the Movement of Thessaloniki Citizens “I 136” who, representing individuals and groups of citizens, have joined forces to stop the privatization of the water of our city.

To achieve this we use two avenues: The first is taking any kind of action to convince you, the Government, to stop the sale. Throughout Europe (Brussels, Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, Paris, Grenoble, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Montpelier, Marseille, Lille, Brest and many others) the water of the cities is remunicipalised, after decades of private managing by the companies, a period during which it became obvious that such a choice was a dead end. Why would Greece, Athens and Thessaloniki have to walk through the same dead end street? Furthermore the very Directive of the E.U. for water emphasizes that the water is not a commodity as any other, but it should rather be considered as heritage. The E.U also encourages all citizens to participate in the protection and management of the water reserves.      

The second avenue is to organize citizens in order to claim the acquisition of 40% and the management of ΕΥΑTH, that is now on sale. We have calculated that if every household or business pays 136 Euros, the necessary amount of money for the acquisition can be collected. We assume that 136 Euros is an amount of money still affordable by the average household. To accomplish the above we intent to create one cooperative per municipality or municipal sector in Thessaloniki and then unite all cooperatives into an S.A. (Social ΕΥΑTH S.A.), which in turn will pursue the acquisition of 40% and the management of present day ΕΥΑTH.S.A . The aims of the cooperatives and SEYATH are:

• The acquisition and non-profit management of EYATH

• To provide water to households and businesses with:

• High quality

• Low prices

• Protection of the environment

• Democratic operation

• Social justice

Mr. Prime Minister, Vice-President of the government and Minister of Finance, with full awareness of our responsibility as active citizens of Thessaloniki we assure you that the vast majority of citizens and institutions of our city agrees with our proposal and is willing to support it. However, the acceleration of the sale, which is rumored strongly in the last few days, will create faits accomplis that will exclude us from any process eventually chosen by your government and this is not only unfair but also generates great questions. Why the acceleration? A sum of less than 100 million €, which the citizens are willing to pay themselves in order to get the city’s water in their own hands, is so urgently necessary in order to save the country? And what kind of salvation would that be when the water supply of the city goes enters two or three decades of an impasse and a further price should again be paid in order to recover a public, in the broadest sense, management? Mr. Prime Minister, Vice-President and Minister of Finance, we urge you desist from selling EYATh, for all the reasons mentioned above. We invite you not to ignore the will of the citizens of Thessaloniki. To the extent that, for reasons we would require to know, you insist on the sale, we invite you also to take into account the will of the citizens to claim water as a common good. You can confirm this political will by proclaiming a referendum. This can be done promptly and without much expense during the upcoming national elections.

Sincerely yours,

The Citizens Movement Initiative 136