With many actions and including civil disobedience, the Italian organizations that form the Italian Water Movement forced the Italian government of former European Commissioner Mario Monti to withdraw a proposal to liberalise water services 19 January 2012. The Italian people spoke out in large majority (>90%) against the liberalization and privatisation of the water services in June 2011.
However the European Central Bank demanded that Italy do exactly that and have a “comprehensive, far-reaching and credible reform strategy, including the full liberalisation of local public services and of professional services. This should apply particularly to the provision of local services through large scale privatizations”. This was part of a secret letter signed by Trichet and Draghi, the outgoing and incoming Presidents of the ECB, in July 2011. The secret letter argued for many other measures to be taken including public service workers pay freezes, public employment cuts and labour market flexibility to mention a few. Measures such as liberalization of public services are called structural reforms in Euro-speak. EPSU has argued that the ECB has no mandate for such detailed policy advise, and that it violates the democratic will of the Italian people.
Read more on the site of EPSU