Expatica news

Protestors reject commercialisation of water

22 March 2006

BRUSSELS — Some 500 protestors demonstrated against the commercialisation of water at Schuman near the European Commission’s Berlaymont building on Wednesday on World Water Day.

The protest involved unions, the European Federation of Public Service Unions EPSU, environment groups, water activists and development organisations.
The protestors formed a student chain around the building of Aquafed, the European Commission and the European Council of Ministers.

Passing around buckets of water, the protestors also wore shirts with the message “Our water is not for sale”. The human chain was designed to symbolise the link between Aquafed and Europe.

Aquafed is the federation of water companies in the private sector. It lobbies the European Commission on behalf of its member companies, newspaper ‘De Tijd’ reported.

EPSU spokesman Jan Willem Goudriaan said the EC plays an important role in the mounting pressure on water to be considered a commodity and the liberalisation and privatisation of water services.

The protestors demanded water be kept under the supervision of public authorities and that water remain accessible to the public. They also protested against the privatisation of any services relating to the water industry.

They said access to clean, safe and affordable drinking water should be recognised as a human right.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news