you're reading...

Madrid anti-privatisation campaign gets big boost

Spanish national and local government plans for sweeping privatisations received a blow at the weekend when campaigners collected more than 160,000 signatures opposing the flotation on the stock exchange of the local water company, El Canal de Isabel II. 

The regional government of Madrid, like the national government, is in the hands of the right wing Popular Party that trounced the Socialists first in local elections last May and then parliamentary elections in November. Both are dead keen on selling of Spain’s family silver in order to plug a big hole in the public finances caused first by a bank-fuelled housing boom-turned- bust and then by austerity policies in Spain and abroad.

Esperanza Aguirre, head of the regional government of Madrid also wants to flog off the Metro, one of world’s top 10  underground urban train systems. He hopes to make Euros 1.5-1.75 billion from the sale of the water company, which would also allow the new private owners to buy other companies, including banks, and exploit land currently being used for public utility like gardens and parks.

But opponents including the unions, United Left party and the 15-M, or indignados movement, have been raising awareness among the public of the planned sale of the public water company, arguing that ‘water is for everybody and does not belong to anyone’  On Sunday, they announced the results of their own referendum in which 167 000 people took part:  99% rejected privatisation.

The organisers said that the referendum, which was organised by installing polling booths in 350 municipals, or local areas, was designed to allow people to take a view on an issue that had ‘not appeared in an electoral programme’ and that the regional government was promoting ‘behind the backs of the citizens.’

Enrique García, from the Popular Assembly of Tetuán, a district in Madrid, pointed out that demands for a debate in the Madrid regional assembly had been rejected by the regional government. He added:

“A few months ago the citizens know nothing of the privatisation of the water company’ but thanks to the successful referendum ‘now the majority of the population was informed.’

Although it was not binding the referendum had ‘moral and political validity’, campaigners said. They are now demanding the regional government hold an official referendum that would force the Madrid administration to win popular support for its plans, or drop them.

About revoltingeurope

Writer on Europe's Left, trade union and social movements @tomgilltweets or @revoltingeurope


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Twitter Updates

  • The PM promised tough action on tax transparency. We need commitments at #AntiCorruption Summit today #EndTaxHavens thndr.me/Q5M0Z9 22 hours ago
  • RT @StatewatchEU: Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (21 news stories, documents and commentaries, 22-23.12.15) https://t.co/dP… 4 months ago
  • Tax Transparency Now: I've signed a petition calling on EU finance ministers to crack down on corporate tax dodging waronwant.org/cbc 4 months ago
  • Spanish General Election: Radical left Podemos + United Left (6m) overtakes, by half million votes, socialists (5.5m) at national level 4 months ago
  • RT @AlbertoNardelli: Spain election - voter turnout: 73.21%, from 68.94% in 2011. #20D 4 months ago
  • RT @ronanburtenshaw: #Podemos win the Basque Country and Catalonia, second in Madrid, third in Andalucía. #SpanishElections 4 months ago
  • RT @nickdearden75: Thousands listen to @MhairiBlack and @HackneyAbbott outside parliament. Both say #DontBombSyria https://t.co/cOwRe5ANPR 5 months ago
  • RT @kmflett: Sue Jones tells socialist history seminar early modern pirates memoirs dont mention sex but do note dolphin was more edible th… 5 months ago
  • RT @NelsonKevan: Women, communists and foreigners: the forgotten heroes of Paris, 1945 | via @Telegraph telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews… 5 months ago
  • Greece’s 50 First Days Under the New Government In Numbers. greece.greekreporter.com/2015/11/12/gre… greece.greekreporter.com/2015/11/12/gre… 6 months ago
Follow @tomgilltweets

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


Anti-social Europe in numbers


Key facts and figures on wages across the EU

Wealth Inequality in Europe

Get the key facts and figures


A different take on European issues

Italy’s Healthcare Crisis

Health services are ‘close to collapse’ in Rome, Turin and Naples after years of cuts and privatisation.

550 days, 29 Workers, Zero Job Losses

How a few determined Italian women stopped their factory closing and protected their livelihoods

Filthy Rich

France's Bernard Arnault of the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) empire is worth $41 billion. Check out Europe's rich list


Private banks receive half-trillion-euro gift from ECB


Workers and citizens stand up for themselves


Workers are on a go-slow over privatisation

Popular resistance delivers results

Lessons from the victory against Madrid privatisation plan


Hundreds of workers occupied the factory of ArcelorMittal in Florange in the north of France

RSS Watching Corporate Europe

  • TTIP leaks highlight the dangers of regulatory cooperation
  • The lobby firm that works both sides of the room
  • Commission CON-sultations

RSS Fight discrimination in Europe – Amnesty Int’l

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.


in Italy the home is a very dangerous place to be


Follow Revolting Europe on WordPress.com

Top Clicks

  • bloomberg.com/billionaire…
  • revoltingeurope.files.wor…
  • dw.de/dw/article/0,,15791…
  • uk.news.yahoo.com/worlds-…
  • bloomberg.com/billionaire…




Read the statement by Lafontaine and Melenchon

The Troika in Portugal – Three Years On

A success story?


The Dossier