A few weeks after the May coup against Dilma Rousseff by conservative parties backed by the country's largest corporations, Brazil's “interim” government, led by Michel Temer, signed an emergency loan to the State of Rio de Janeiro to help finance infrastructure for the 2016 Olympics – in particular for a subway line connecting the sports venues. The bailout was conditional to selling off the State's public water supply and sanitation company, the Companhia Estadual de Águas e Esgotos (Cedae)
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.
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.
With important victories at the local, national and regional level, the Water Movement provides key lessons for the resistance against the privatization of public services in Europe. As the authors explain, "Referendums and other forms of popular consultation such as the European Citizens' Initiative have proved of strategic use in exposing undemocratic austerity policies."
Reclaiming Development, a closely-argued critique of neoliberal economic policy, is debunking development orthodoxies at its best. Republished now, ten years after its first appearance, the book has lost none of its relevance for students and those trying to re-direct economic policies away from their financialized doom-loops.
Instead of an ideological obsession with illusory private sector ‘solutions’, the international community would do better to support socially ambitious public operators working together in partnership with other public utilities.
It had been billed as a summit to push for universal access to water, but attending the Budapest Water Summit held last week felt like grasping at a mirage of water in a desert. The slogans and appearance were attractive, but held no prospect of delivering the human right to water for all.
(Press release: 24 July 2013) A large group of Greek, European and international organisations, networks and others have requested the bidders for the Thessaloniki Water and Sewage Company to withdraw their bids. They want the bidders to respect the wishes of the workers and local communities who do not want their company to be run by private operators.
Despite immense pressure by corporations that have sought to undermine it, Costa Rica's public energy and telecommunications company stands out as a model in terms of its coverage, efficiency, social inclusion and environmental sustainability.
TNI and other civil society organisations, in an open letter, have denounced the European Comission's admission that it imposes water privatization conditionalities as part of its 'rescue' package to crisis countries.
The Transnational Institute (TNI), in cooperation with the Municipal Services Project (MSP) and the Latin American Programme for Distance Education in Social Sciences (PLED) is offering a free web-based course on Alternatives to Privatisation: Non-Commercial Public Services Options in the Global South. The course will begin on 8 October 2012 and will comprise a series of eight weekly sessions.