EU leaders are under fire for pressuring troubled eurozone governments to sell public water utilities as part of their bailout deals, with environmentalists and rights activists saying that privatisation will only feed public anger.
Criticism of the bailout conditions set for Greece and Portugal by the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund troika call for shedding state-owned companies, including public utilities, as a condition for billions of euros in funds to stave off insolvency.
Greece came under renewed pressure this week from eurozone finance ministers to approve a fiscal overhaul in order to receive €31.2 billion in an aid instalment that is already two months overdue. German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a one-day visit to Athens on Tuesday to give cautious support to the austerity plan backed by her Greek counterpart, Antonis Samaras.
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