Muzzling NGOs is unbecoming of a democracy. Self-confident democracies encourage, indeed applaud, the involvement of citizens’ associations, including NGOs, in social and political decision-making and development planning. Instead, our paranoid government bullies and terrorises them
Already subjected to the consequences of the European and Greek debt crisis and the resulting austerity measures, privatisation will continue to hit Thessaloniki hard. In a referendum the people voted overwhelmingly against water privatisation. While their struggle continues, they look upon the crisis as an opportunity to intensify the search for democratic alternatives.
On the second anniversary of the enforced disappearance of prominent Lao civil society leader Sombath Somphone, rights groups firmly condemn the Lao government’s ongoing refusal to provide any information regarding Sombath’s fate or whereabouts.
Throughout the world, public service workers, alongside their fellow community members, are not only defending public services but also struggling to make them democratic and responsive to people’s needs and desires.
The largest Public-Private Partnership in water sector in Germany ended in 2013 after the longstanding social mobilisation. Remunicipalisation cost a high price for the city of Berlin though. Berliners have striven for new challenges.
In the last 15 years there have been at least 180 cases of water remunicipalisation in 35 countries, both in the global North and South, including high profile cases in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa.
"After spending several evenings this week immersed in inspiring tributes to Stuart, I’ve been pondering on what it was that was distinctively special about him — all the tributes confirm one’s instinct that we have lost someone with a special spirit that we must try to carry inside us"
Despite large aid support, Ghana's privatised water utility AVRL consistently failed to meet its contractual commitments. Water is now back in state hands, but it will need increased investment and a vigilant civil society to deliver the services Ghanaians need.
The Greek government and its creditors seem bent on imposing policy whose economic merits and democratic legitimacy seem rather dubious. A French company is especially active among the candidates for privatizing water in Athens and Thessaloniki: Suez Environnement.
No British politician who has also served in government was ever subjected to as much hostility and calumny from the Tory Party, from the mainstream media, or even from senior colleagues in his own Labour Party as was Anthony Wedgewood Benn.
It’s a sign of the pathology of much of India’s mainstream media that it displays the rise of the speculative-trader-industrialist Hinduja brothers to the top of Britain’s (not India’s) billionaire list on the front page, as many papers did on May 12, while blacking out the shamefully persistent phenomena of grinding poverty and rapidly growing income inequalities in this country.
Praful Bidwai, How rising inequality threatens our democracy
11 February 2014
India is becoming an increasingly inequitable, “rich-take-all”, pathological, society marked by exclusion and immobility, where an individual’s circumstances of birth, and class and caste privileges, matter more than his/her effort.