Forcing The ‘Privatisation Of Irish Water’



Free Monday?

The International CETA speaking tour will be held in Liberty Hall, Dublin at 7.30pm, hosted by Attac Ireland, which “resists neoliberal globalisation and campaigns for a more just, equal and sustainable world”.


Barry Finnegan writes:

The Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA), is the less well-known cousin of TTIP, the EU-US ‘free’ trade and investment deal currently being drafted. Negotiations on CETA are closed: if adopted by the European parliament early next year, it would allow companies to sue governments for compensation in a private arbitration called ISDS when they say that laws interfere with their profits.

The completed CETA trade deal is the first EU treaty to include an approach to services liberalisation through ‘negative lists’. This means that all categories of the services sector, including water, education and health, will be opened to competition and competitive private-sector tendering, except those services that have been explicitly excluded in the ‘negative list’ at the start of negotiations.

The text of CETA,, now available online, clearly shows that the Irish Government has not excluded water, health or education services from the enforced privatisation and tendering rules of CETA,

International CETA Speaking Tour (Facebook)

Attac Ireland


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25 thoughts on “Forcing The ‘Privatisation Of Irish Water’

    1. Sarah

      Ah yes, take the EU’s promises at face value. When was the last time the EU’s accounts were signed off by an accounting firm as ‘all in order.’? The EU is a corrupt mess opposed to democracy.

      1. Tony Stanza

        External auditors will make everything beyond reproach like those nice chaps in EY did for Anglo or Arthur Andersen did for Enron?

        I wouldn’t take UKIP canards at face value either.

        1. Sarah

          True. But that’s not just a UKIP canard, it’s true. 100 billion is unaccounted for according to eh EU’s own statements. No doubt it’s down their sofa.

        2. Sido

          What like it’s frightfully UKIP to point out the EU can’t/won’t keep a set of books?
          Just so I know?

  1. David

    To quote George Monbiot: “Many of you have heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). These are supposed to be trade treaties, but they have little to do with trade, and much to do with power. They enhance the power of corporations while reducing the power of parliaments and the rule of law. They could scarcely be better designed to exacerbate and universalise our multiple crises: financial, social and environmental. But something even worse is coming, the result of negotiations conducted, once more, in secret: a Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), covering North America, the EU, Japan, Australia and many other nations.”

    From here:

    1. Chris

      Very true. The CETA is a stick for big banking to beat governments with. It was spun to be the opposite, a ‘protectionist’ measure. The panel who are writing it is made up of banking lobbyist and as such is conceived entirely in their favor.

  2. Condescending Nana

    what’s wrong with privatisation? bring it, start with irish Rail and roll on down from there, it’s all dead wood.

    1. Chris

      Correct, nothing wrong with that. There is something very wrong however with the premise that large corporations should be able to sue governments who implement laws(environmental, social or otherwise) that lessen their profits.

    2. MoyestWithExcitement

      “what’s wrong with privatisation?”

      It means the purpose of services is to create wealth for investors as opposed to providing the best service possible. If your granny uses a bus route that doesn’t make a profit, she’d probably have to start using taxis because privatised Dublin Bus are going to close down her route.

      1. Chris

        A debate about privatization clouds the issue a bit here though. I think we agree privatization is often appropriate though care is needed as serving some social requirements will never be profitable.

        The issue under these trade ‘agreements’ is what they are essentially trying to do is create legal president for examples like this…

        (Very loose) Example
        It’s 2025 IW is now fully privatized despite what was said. They ramp up the charges and a bunch of people die of thirst. Under public pressure the government passes the water services law of 2025, stating that it is now illegal for IW to allow customers to die of thirst. Under these agreements that are being made now IW can then sue the government mercilessly for lost profits on any free water it is forced to give under the law.

    3. DubLoony

      There are services that are needed by the whole population but may not be profitable for the private sector.
      e.g. postal service in Donegal / Mayo, bus routes around the country going through small villages, health services to whole population (let the poor die!).
      Broadband by private sector is only available in larger population areas so government had to step in with the National Broadband scheme for rural areas. the purpose being to keep & improve job prospects in those areas to stem the depopulation of those ares.

      There are some basic ares such as health, education, electricity, water, environmental protection and yes, housing, that government need to be involved with to ensure a basic living standard is available to all.

    4. Sido

      Nothing wrong with a lot of privatisations, Also their is nothing wrong with public ownership.

      There are good and bad examples of both these entities. They each have specific faults that we are all aware of.

      It’s just handy to have the option, as a power of government, to direct services in an area that might not be of economic interest to a private company, for either social or strategic goals.
      That is the option we technically have now. Why should we settle for less. The people who live in a country should be responsible for how that country is run, they should “decide” how to run it.
      This is democracy. Anything less is dictatorship.

  3. Zuppy International

    “what’s wrong with privatisation?”

    Remember ‘Telecom Éireann’?

    A strategic national resource disappears from public ownership in a Government backed scam.

    They’re doing the same to our hydro-carbon reserves, our motorways, our water infrastructure, etc etc.

    Next up is the health service.

    1. Deluded

      Finally, a conspiracy I can believe in!
      Seriously though, we sold Eircom to Babcock and Brown and it gained a €4 billion debt in the sale. Without money to invest we built industrial parks without broadband during the boom.
      That’s what peed me off about “The Digital Hub”, I was sending tech details by fax at the time.

      1. Sido

        Bertie thought it was going to be another BT at the time. It was certainly sold that way on telly. The hubris and hype surrounding the sale was magnificent.
        Predicting the disastrous events that followed should have been easy. I doubt our politicians have learnt anything from it though.

        1. Deluded

          Why learn?
          It’s a gruesome job, though; it was interesting to read the statements from different countries during the crisis in 2008 as every colour and stripe of politico was “Dan Browned” by the local opposition.

          1. Sido

            I was trying to sound you know – reasonable and caring.
            I’ve no idea what you could do about that side of it, short of violence and trying to enforce some sort of new utopia. Without corruption (natch).

            I believe these schemes to be about an elite utopia, that both its leaders and pikemen believe can be achieved without violence. That pretty much ignores the lessons of history. And it was all going so well.

  4. Glat1

    I got about 1/3 of the way through the CETA text document but then lost my cool when I realised that the Canadians were holding out for Gallus domesticus fat to be priced at $6.74/Kg, thus cutting the European Anas platyrhynchos domesticus fat industry off at the knees.


    I’ve gone for a lie down and will write to my TD in the morning.

  5. Kolmo

    Mock all you like but Private non-national corporations facilitated by a complient greasy national governments to protect profits is the very definition of fascism. The citizen will be the enemy.

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