Alternative World Water Forum

Please help us to support our friends in Thessaloniki who are fighting the sale of EYATH imposed by the Troika, we need as many voices as possible!

The letter below (drafted together with the movement in Thessaloniki) is to be sent to the investors and companies that wish to partake in the privatisation of the water company of Thessaloniki. We are asking 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.

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

Dear …

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


  • Initiative 136, Greece
  • SEEYATH, Somateio Ergazomenon EYATH, Greece
  • SOStetoNERO, Greece
  • Save Greek Water, Greece


  • Action from Ireland, Ireland
  • Agua de Todos, Portugal
  • Abvakabo FNV, The Netherlands
  • Aquattac
  • Associação Sindical dos Profissionais da Inspecção Tributária, Portugal
  • ATTAC Norway
  • Berliner Wassertisch, Germany
  • Centro di Volontariato Internazionale, Italia
  • Coordination Eau Île-de-France, France
  • Corporate Europe Observatory
  • Coordination Rhône-Méditerranée des Associations des Usagers de l’Eau, France
  • Eau Bien Commun PACA, France
  • Eau Secours 34, France
  • Ecologistas en Acción, Spain
  • European Federation of Public Service Unions
  • Federacion de Empleados Publicos de la Union Sindical Obrera, España
  • Food & Water Europe
  • Gemeingut in BürgerInnenhand (GiB), Germany
  • Institut Européen de Recherche sur la Politique de l’Eau, Belgium
  • Pancyprian Freedom Guild Worker Water Boards, Cyprus
  • Social Development Cooperative, The Netherlands
  • SIPTU Services Industrial Professional and Technical Union, Ireland
  • The Corner House, UK
  • The Slovak-Scandinavian cooperative Urd, Slovakia
  • Organic Agriculture Association, Albania
  • Re:Common, Italy
  • VISION, Sweden
  • Vodovod I Kanalizacija, Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Water Movement Norway
  • WIB “Wasser in Bürgerhand”, Germany
  • Zukunftskonvent, Germany


  • Alliance of Government Workers in the Water Sector, Philippines
  • Blue Planet Project, Canada
  • Canadian Union of Public Employees, Canada
  • Federación Nacional de Trabajadores del Agua Potable del Peru, Peru
  • Food & Water Watch, USA
  • Jubilee South Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development
  • KRuHA people’s coalition for the right to water, Indonesia
  • The Council of Canadians, Canada
  • Transnational Institute
  • Public Services International
  • Su Hakki Kampanyasi, Turkey
  • Swarna Hansa Foundation, Sri Lanka
  • Water & Energy Users’ Federation (WAFED), Nepal


  • David McDonald, professor, Queen’s University, Canada
  • Lucienne THIPHAINE, journaliste et plasticienne, France


If your organisation wants to co-sign send an email to Gabriella Zanzanaini, Food and Water Europe.


  • the name of the organisation
  • your name
  • country (or European or international organisation)
  • email for correspondence.


As you know the Greek government under pressure of the Troika (European Commission, European Central Bank and IMF) has decided to privatise a larger number of public services and companies. Among these are the water companies of Athens and Thessaloniki. The privatisation process of Thessaloniki has now begun and the first offers have been received. There are two consortia made up of:

  • French-based utility Suez Environment SA and Greek construction group Aktor.
  • The second consortium includes Mekorot Development and Enterprise Ltd., a unit of Israel’s national water company, along with Miya Water Projects Netherlands BV (owned by Israeli group Arison Investments), Greece’s Terna Energy and G. Apostolopoulos S.A. Holdings.

We want to address these companies and the main shareholders of these companies to demonstrate that the companies are not wanted by the Greek people of Thessaloniki and that the people have broad support.

Categories: Global stories

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