French public water operators cheaper than private
(28 November 2007) For the second consecutive year, the French consumer’s organisation UFC-Que choisir has published its research on the cost of water in French municipalities. In the department of Ile-de-France, and the towns of Gennevilliers and Marseille, the private operators that distribute the water are making a healthy profit of nearly 60%. In other towns (Annecy, Chambery, Clermont-Ferrand and Grenoble), where the water industry is run by the municipalities, the water is billed at its cost-price (2.19 euros per cubic metre versus 2.93 euros per cubic metre in the private sector). The Consumer Body has set up several detailed webpages with research, its methodology and further research:
For the main article (FR) : http://www.quechoisir.org/EnqueteDetail
For more detailed breakdown: http://www.quechoisir.org/Enquete
Suez and Veolia, the two giant water companies have criticsed the study. For the Consumers Body response to Suez and Veolia who fail to provide detailed breakdown of costs, or even basic information, read:
Further detailed research is available Click here (in English) by Eshien Chong, Freddy Huet, Stéphane Saussier and Faye Steiner: Public-Private Partnerships and Prices: Evidence from Water Distribution in France.
For the reaction of the French companies please click here.
And French workers concerned about pay and conditions
The discussion about prices of water provided by the public and private sector has a possible impact also on workers. CFDT-Interco draws attention to this in its pressrelease arguing that quality and decent working conditions have to go hand in hand. Privatisation or the return to public ownership should not go at the expensive of pay and conditions and employment. To read the press statement, open document below: