Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has called for maximum mobilisation for the upcoming national Right2Water march this Saturday and for the government to urgently rethink its stance against holding a referendum to protect water services from privatisation.
Speaking today Ms. Boylan said:
“The government must make moves to enshrine the right to water in our constitution.
“Access to water services is a human right and the possibility that water services could be liberalised due to trade deals is a very real prospect.
“Despite government assurances that there are already unspecified safeguards in place to protect against this possibility we need watertight assurances in the form of a referendum that this won’t happen.
“I heard many nightmare privatisation stories from cities and countries across Europe while conducting research on the Boylan Right2water report for the European Parliament.
“ Despite the EU Commission insisting water management is a matter for the member states we have seen it continually push its privatisation agenda, most recently in Greece.
If Labour and Fine Gael are being honest about no such privatisation plans for Irish water then why not give the people their constitutional safeguard?
“My Right2Water report contains such safeguards.
“Namely the Commission must draft legislation which recognises access to water as a human right and it must make assurances that water services will be exempt from any trade deals, including TTIP.
“Many European cities, after disastrous attempts at privatisation, are making moves towards the remunicipalisation of water services.
“My report will be voted on by the European Parliament on the 8th of September, and despite my grave concerns that Fine Gael’s group in parliament, the EPP, will make moves to block amend or delay my report, I hope it will pass.”