(EPSU Press Communication – 14 June 2011) The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) welcomes the magnificent result of the referendum that took place in Italy on 12 and 13 June. More than 55% of Italians voted in the Referendum against the privatisation of water and local public services. Over 95% of those that voted said yes to public water! This means that more than 26 million people have expressed their opposition to the privatisation plans, despite the fact that Berlusconi and his allies encouraged their supporters to stay home, in a bid to avoid a quorum. We would like to salute the effort of the Italian water movement (Italian Forum for Public Water) and our affiliate FP-CGIL that have been at the forefront of the struggle for over seven years.
Rosa Pavanelli, EPSU Vice-President said “This battle was long, strong, and difficult, but the alliance building made the difference in this referendum that marks a historic landmark in recent Italian history”. This is the answer to those that said that public services and workers are inefficient, while presenting the private sector as the magic solution.
The Italian citizens’ vote shows that they do not believe in the neoliberal mermaids. On the contrary, the clear message from this referendum result is that citizens do believe in public services rather than private, and that a clear policy for investments in quality public services for all is needed instead of a sell-out. EPSU will be campaigning to keep water in public hands in Europe and believes that the result in Italy shows the way for all those campaigning against privatisation. For more information: Pablo Sanchez, firstname.lastname@example.org, 00 32 474 62 6633