Where there is smoke, there is fire. In this case: there is water. Precisely, possible hikes in the water price, if one takes seriously the statements by New Democracy MP at the Sub-Committee on Water Resources earlier on Thursday.
ND MP Babis Papadimitriou said that the water is “unacceptably cheap” and triggered a storm of reactions and fears that hikes in the water are due.
The MP linked the waste of water due to the low prices and said “if water was more expensive, water waste would be reduced,” he added.
He said further that “municipalities have not yet been able to find a policy on the basic issue of pricing. Water is unfortunately unacceptably cheap, its wastage is outrageous, and its treatment is almost infrequent even in small towns, where things have to be much more careful there.”
“The way water is currently supplied is at prices that do not promote rational and proper use of water. This is a huge problem because it has not been explained how this should be done and why municipalities may not have the resources. I think we need to take the initiative to explain why water must be priced right. ”
Papadimitriou’s comments triggered strong reactions as the former Sκai TV journalist is known for his support to the country’s lenders, privatization and neo-liberal policies.
Not a few saw an kind of warm-up for prices hikes in the water, following those in electricity.
“The statements suggest negative developments,” main opposition party SYRIZA said stressing that after the hikes in electricity, ND is now targeting another public good.”
The biting comment came by a member of the Central Committee of SYRIZA.
Το νερό είναι δημόσιο αγαθό και ως τέτοιο, πρέπει να είναι φθηνό και προσβάσιμο σε όλους. Εάν για τον βουλευτή της ΝΔ κ. Παπαδημητρίου είναι «απαράδεκτα φθηνό», μπορεί να αγοράζει Filico, νερό κλεισμένο σε μοναδικά σχεδιασμένο μπουκάλι, στολισμένο με κρυστάλλους Swarovski. pic.twitter.com/op991Vadsj
— Costas Zachariadis (@CZachariadis) September 19, 2019
“Water is public good and as such it must be cheap and accessible to everyone. If for ND MP Papadimitriou is “unacceptable cheap” he can purchase Filico, water in unique designed bottles decorated with Swarovski crystals.”
A little later, Papadimitriou said that he is not in charge to announce price hikes and describe the criticism as “political speculation.” There are no price hikes and no privatization of the water, he added.
PS Between you and me: SYRIZa fought hardto exempt the water companies in Athens and Thessaloniki from the privatization plans of the country’s lenders.