Citizen Mobilization for Water: The Case of Thessaloniki, Greece

J. van den Berge, R.A. Boelens, J.M.C. Vos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In 2012–2013 the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) ‘Right2Water’ took place. A broad alliance of social organizations, trade unions and water activists campaigned to put the Human Right to Water and Sanitation on the political agenda of the European Union (EU). They urged the EU to implement this right in European law. At the same time, people in Greece were confronted with austerity measures imposed by the Troika of the IMF, the European Union and the European Central Bank, as the latter’s response to governmental clientelism and elite-driven mismanagement. One of the drastic measures imposed by the Troika was the privatization of public assets. The Greek government was forced to privatize national or local governmental companies and put them up for sale. This was the case for the water company of Thessaloniki, the second biggest city in Greece. At this point, the European campaigners for Right2Water and the Greek anti-austerity movements found each other in defending the public ownership of water companies. Mutual support, cooperation and mobilization in Greece led to success for the European Right2Water campaign and success for Greek social movements in preventing the privatization of the Thessaloniki public water company EYATH.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWater Politics
Subtitle of host publicationGovernance, Justice and the Right to Water
EditorsFarhana Sultana, Alex Loftus
ISBN (Electronic)9781138320024, 9780429453571
ISBN (Print)9781138320031
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019


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