Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The end of water privatization?

The city of Paris, France has ended a hundred years of private water, putting the essential resource back in the public trust.

" "That France, once known as the heartland of water privatisation, is embracing a return to public management of water services, is a strong signal in this new pattern," Olivier Hoedeman of the Water Remunicipalisation Tracker told IPS. The group, a sub-division of the Amsterdam-based Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) and the Transnational Institute, documents the decline of water privatisation."

" In the 1990s many countries privatised their water and sanitation services, particularly in Africa, Asia and Latin America, under strong pressure from neo-liberal governments, particularly in the European Union (EU), and from international financial institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to 'open up' national services. "

A memorable segment from a documentary called The Corporation, chronicling the first days of the global struggle for water. The Bechtel corporation and an army of police v.s. the people of Cochabamba. Hundreds of young people were maimed and injured by the police serving and protecting the state allocated contract to annex and sell back the citizens their water.

"Bechtel, Bolivia resolve dispute

San Francisco-based Bechtel Corp. has dropped a $25 million dispute against the Bolivian government for canceling a water contract, after major street demonstrations forced a Bechtel-owned subsidiary to withdraw from Bolivia’s third-largest city."


Zach. said...

It's nice to see that SOME parts of that documentary have a happy ending years later. Sadly, though, it probably had more to do with them being run out of town than a change of heart that they decided to cancel the lawsuit.

lauren said...

holy shit, sweet! also, another great doc about water privatization (and human rights) is called thirst, and i think everyone should watch it. yes?