The Secret EU Drive to Privatize Water

Up to the Last Drop: Secret Water War in Europe

Al Jazeera (2018)

Film Review

Up to the Last Drop is about the role of the EU Commission in pressuring member countries to privatize their municipal water supplies. Although the UN declared access to water a human right in 2001, the EU continues to exert pressure on indebted nations (ie Greece, Portugal, Italy and Ireland) to sell their water utilities to repay the debt they incurred by bailing out their banks in 2008.

Water privatization almost always leads to massive price hikes for consumers, who are fighting back. Between 2000-2017, popular unrest against privatization and price increases led municipalities in 37 countries to oust private water companies* and resume municipal control.

In 2005, mass protests over skyrocketing water prices led Bolivians to overthrow their government.

In 2011, 98% of Berlin residents voted “yes” on a referendum for local authorities to resume control of the city’s water supply. Italy also blocked water privatization (with 95% voting no) via referendum.

Ireland blocked a wholesale water privatization scheme via mass protest, and Portugal ended it by electing a new left-leaning government.


*Two French companies Suez and Veolia monopolize nearly all private water schemes worldwide.

The film can’t be embedded for copyright reasons but can be viewed free at the Al Jazeera website: Secret Water Wars

12 thoughts on “The Secret EU Drive to Privatize Water

  1. Just a general response: both total laissez-faire capitalism and socialism will lead to ruin because of the great flaws in human nature. The solution is found in a mixed economy, a system somewhat like what we have in the United States. That requires a basic administrative and judicial management authority working in a nation in which basic physical needs are available through the government. Roads, bridges, airports, water/sewer departments, … Free market capitalism would play very well and benefit all in such an environment. However, rules must be enforced, rules, such as the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Clayton Act, child labor laws, environmental laws, etc. All that must operate under our Constitution with the spirit of the Declaration of Independence. Monopoly capitalists will hate it, a good sign. John D. Rockefeller, Sr., crying because he wanted to get control, vertical and horizontal, of the petroleum sector, declared competition a sin. And, his favorite grandson, David, lauded Chairman Mao and Communism in spite of the sixty million deaths by gun in the hands of a government controlling firearms (to save lives?) Forces seeking to Master the Human Domain are at work, and they deny that our human rights are from God. Note, “our rights;” some believe that their rights are for themselves only and are divine rights.

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    • To be honest, marblenecltr, my impression as a psychiatrist is that human behavior has been so distorted and corrupted by the public relations effects of post industrial capitalism that it has become extremely hard to pinpoint what is “true” human nature and what is operant conditioning.

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        • It doesn’t predate civilization and class society, though. War is a product of class society – in fact the initial purpose of appointing kings was to conduct wars. In indigenous societies, sociopaths who commit murder and thievery are actually quite rare. They are regarded as an aberration and generally dealt with via social exclusion.

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          • Going back more millennia and even bringing other animal species, class society is basically alpha and other strata of animal life.

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            • Marbelenecltr, that statement contradicts a large body of anthropological research that indicates human beings lived communally for most of their 250,000 year history until cities arose around 5,000 – 6,000 BC. There is an impressive body of historical/sociological research about the theft of the commons by Peter Linebaugh and feminist sociologists like Elisa Boulding and Sylvia Federici. David Graeber’s book Debt: the First 5,000 Years also provides an excellent account of the rise of class society.

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    • Rosaliene, as I suggest in my comment to marblenecltr above, we are all forced to behave in certain ways just to survive under capitalism. The behavior of people in non “civilized” indigenous societies in no way resembled the way people behave now.

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  2. Pingback: The Secret EU Drive to Privatize Water — The Most Revolutionary Act – Truth Troubles

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