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Why making water private? A cry from Italy

Today, 18 November, the Italian Government has placed vote of confidence on water privatization in Italy.

To whom of you who don't know our habit, in Italy the vote of confidence is often used to force hands of Parliament on specific themes. "To save time", it is so often said.

This was one of the cases.

The question I pose, as a little stupid person, is: why? Sure, "profit" for few multinationals and people.
But also, why?

Privatization of essential services has often been presented as an efficient way to make these services better, thanks to market. Would market really self-regulate for the best...

As a matter of fact, some of the privatizations attempted in Italy have already resulted in catastrophic failures for normal people. Like railways, air transport, telecommunications.

Water, now!

Privatizing without rules just triggers more inefficiency, I see.
And besides, is a spoliation.
An act of war to the weak people.

There are signs of resistance, however, so hope is still alive. Many people are exerting pressure, the way they can, by signing petitions.

We'll see. Let's hope, if possible.

I also wonder how may we do for better. In a large part, what's happening exemplifies the current way of doing politics in Italy: decisions already taken imposed, often irrational if not overtly crazy, and no real discussion. A lot of noisy, aggressive and pointless quarreling, however.

And while people seems to fight so hard, water is privatized, and another slice of our rights has gone.

For all of us, I strongly affirm water should be restored as a human right, not just a fundamental need.

It would count.
For all of us so incredibly lucky to discuss of a small problem like water privatization, as well for the many more of us who just don't have access to.

Cheers
(and sad - World, please forgive us for being so insensitive and stupid)

Mauri

Comments

Under the Philippine laws, water cannot be privatized but just like your country, they make excuses that they try to circumvent the law by making it semi-private or have a private company operate it (but it's like they control and own it too).

Yes, it's really a pity and the public are the ones who suffer in the end.

That's why we have to be very vigilant.

_Reya

Mauri's picture

You're SO right!

Sure Rhea, we have to vigilate!

In so many cases companies or private interests try taking over the rights of us and our children.

In Italy, they are trying subtle moves, in an attempt (partially successful, as I'll say) to make water privatization seem less unacceptable. For example, there is a nominal limit in the private share, fixed to 40%.

It seems a minority packet, with the 60% of ownership still public. So, many people imagine there will be no big changes.

In my personal view, they miss a tiny detail: as a (micro) company holder I know that even a 25% may be sufficient to condition heavily a board. You may just say you'll get out of it with your money. And in this specific case, the public administration would be in big troubles buying back the share - because of an enormous public debt. You know, Italy is a place of monopolies and oligopolies, and I bet that would that happen no private buyer would ever even consider to manifest ectoplasmically.

That is, a 40% is a weapon of blackmail.

In change of what? Bad management practices abound in both the public and private sectors.

So, how not to agree with you? We have to vigilate! Even here, in the "rich" west!

Love (and a lot of immense respect)

Mauri

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