Returning the local authority's water service in-house

19 March 2016


Communal assets

This week saw the publication of a very important legal ruling which will speed up the debate on one of our programme's key points: returning the local authority's water service in-house.  Barcelona's water service (a communal asset, a basic-necessity asset that should not be speculated with) was privatised during a previous municipal government, without any public debate or consultation but under an agreement with the socialist PSC and conservative CiU political parties. What is more, this concession was made under a more than questionable contract, to judge by its terms and conditions and lack of transparency. Some of the people who made public complaints and lodged legal proceedings against that concession are now part of the city's municipal-government team: another of the signs of the winds of change that have come to Barcelona City Council. Following the example of social movements for returning local authority services in-house, let us now begin our work to collectively and democratically reclaim our water service. That way we shall achieve what many large European cities such as Berlin and Paris have been doing for years. Water is a basic right and a scare communal asset that has to be managed responsibly, with transparency and with guaranteed universal access.

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This blog features ideas, thoughts and reflections on my daily life as the Mayor of Barcelona.

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