The Irresistible Expansion of the World's Water Giants?
More than 80% of the water supply is still in the hands of the public sector. Everytime, however, a town council in financial fetters asks around to be relieved of this burden, the world's biggest water multinational companies, Veolia and Suez, come knocking at the door. In Germany, the French water company Veolia has, during the last 10 years, risen to the position of being the largest handler of drinking and wastewater in the country, with participation in the waterworks of 450 German communities. A similarly successful expansion has taken place in Poland, the Baltic Republics, Leetonia, Estonia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Rumania, Italy, Spain, the USA, and now also in China, where Veolia claims to have signed new contracts. When water shortage was threatening California, Schwarzenegger met with Veolia's chairman of the board Henri Proglia. This man is also the first one China's President will contact when the emerging country launches its $100 billion programme for the renovation of its wastewater network.
Veolia and Suez are already active in at least 69 countries on all five continents. Is this the irresistible rise of two water giants to world hegemony over the privatised water supply?
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