Blue Planet Project organizers Claudia Campero, Madhuresh Kumar, campaigner Meera Karunananthan, and Movement 136 activist Maria Kannellopoulou

Blue Planet Project organizers Claudia Campero, Madhuresh Kumar, campaigner Meera Karunananthan, and Movement 136 activist Maria Kannellopoulou

Capital.gr reports, “Four investment groups expressed interest in an international tender for the purchase of a 51 per cent majority stake in (the public water utility) Thessaloniki Water and Sewerage (EYATH), the privatisation agency said yesterday.”

“The 51 percent stake in the utility has attracted the interest of:

  1. a consortium comprising France’s Suez and Greece’s Ellaktor (which is owned by Greek public works and media baron George Bobolas, as well as perhaps Actoris, a local construction company);
  2. a Greek-Israeli consortium made up of of GEK-Terna (a Greek construction and energy enterprise) and Mekorot (Israel’s water company);
  3. as well as Greek-Russian entrepreneur Ivan Savvidis (the owner of a Greek football club), and;
  4. a Thessaloniki citizens’ movement that is against the privatization of the city’s water company.”

The Greek news agency Ana reports that, “Movement 136, a group of citizens opposed to the privatization of a company emerging in their public service, have declared their interest, offering a social management through cooperative neighborhood…”

Expatica.com notes, “The sell-off of EYATH … is part of a long list of privatisations demanded by Greece’s European Union and International Monetary Fund creditors. The Greek state currently owns 74 percent of the shares of EYATH, the country’s second-largest water company.”

Captial.gr adds, “Suez already owns 5 percent of EYATH. Suez, along with Ellaktor, was also among three groups that expressed interest in buying EYATH in 2009 before its planned sale was frozen amid political turmoil in Greece.”

The sale of public water company is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. On April 29, the municipal council of Thessaloniki has called for a referendum on the company’s privatisation, which it opposes. They say that water is a social resource that “cannot be sold or transferred”.

For recent blogs on this, please see:
NEWS: Sale of Thessaloniki water utility begins in February
NEWS: Mekorot may purchase Greek public water utilities
UPDATE: Blue Planet in solidarity with Initiative 136 in Greece
NEWS: Greece to fully-privatize Athens and Thessaloniki water under austerity program

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