Privatisation

Public Funds Could Help Provide Water and Electricity, Researchers Say

For several decades, governments around the globe have turned to privatisation as the best option to help relieve the world's destitute by providing them with health care services, water and electricity. By and large, however, this effort has failed.

Corporations Win Big in Battle Against Investment Regulation

In a world where governments are increasingly subservient to global finance capital, multinationals are gaining ground in the fight against state regulations that aim to protect the environment, public health or social policies.

President Cristina Fernández announcing the nationalisation of YPF. Credit: Office of the president of Argentina.

Renationalised YPF Aims to Bring Self-Sufficiency in Oil and Gas

After the Argentine Congress approved the renationalisation of YPF, the country’s biggest oil company, late Thursday, thousands of demonstrators from different political and social groups cheered the decision outside the legislature.

Gasfield discovered by Repsol in Huacaya, 800 km southeast of La Paz.  Credit: IPS/Photostock

Bolivia Boosts Incentives for Foreign Oil Companies

Almost six years after the nationalisation of gas and oil reserves in Bolivia, foreign companies maintain an active presence in the sector, and the government is now offering them greater incentives to increase oil production.

India Serves Up Costly Cocktail of Vaccines

Ignoring widespread concern over the safety, efficacy and cost of pentavalent vaccines, India’s central health ministry has, this month, approved inclusion of the prophylactic cocktail in the universal immunisation programme in seven of its provinces.

ARGENTINA-SPAIN: Business Must Go On

Hundreds of Spanish companies continue to do business in Argentina, despite Madrid’s campaign in defence of Repsol, which controls YPF – the oil company that the government of Cristina Fernández plans to renationalise.

European NGOs Put IFIs Under Microscope

European civil society organisations continue to demand that international financial institutions (IFIs) such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund apply the same standards of transparency and accountability to their internal affairs that they demand for governments across the world.

Public Water Management Services Need “Committed Citizens”

The trend of privatisation and commercialisation of water services, which set in in the 1980s and continued throughout the 1990s, has come to a halt due to the process’ own failures, and has given rise to a return of those services into efficient public management, according to a new book.

French Alternative Water Forum Says ‘No’ to Privatisation

Back in 2001, Gérard Mestrallet, CEO of the transnational water giant GDF- Suez, highlighted his company’s "commitment to fight for better access" to safe water and sanitation throughout the world, in order to put an end to all deadly water-borne diseases, from children’s diarrhoea to parasitic diseases to dysentery.

Privatisation Derailed Argentina’s Rail System

Increasingly frequent and tragic railway accidents in Argentina, like this week’s crash, show that the rail system, run by private companies that receive hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies from the state, constantly ignores warnings from inspectors and fines, observers say.

BALKANS-ECONOMY: One-Dollar Steel Mill Exposes Cracks in Privatisation

For the first time in its history, Serbia has bought back a company sold to a foreign investor almost ten years ago, for the symbolic price of a single dollar. But while the purchase has stirred a sense of national pride, it is hardly a success story for the Balkan economy; rather, it has exposed the failure of a decade-long effort to privatise the national economy.

EUROPE-DEVELOPMENT: The “Indignados” Still Have Wind in Their Sails

Months of protest across the European Union, sparked by ‘indignant’ youth demanding an end to the brand of free market capitalism that has blighted the continent with an unemployment epidemic, finally bore fruit on Jan. 30 when Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, proposed an ambitious jobs scheme.

Romanians Discover Street Protest

For more than a week, thousands have been demonstrating in cities across Romania. Participants from all walks of life bring to the fore the broadest array of demands in what looks like a celebratory discovery of street protest. The main call is against lack of transparency and accountability in decision-making.

EUROPE: Unrest Spreads Eastwards

Protests in Hungary and Romania are the first signs of anti-systemic mobilisation in the Eastern half of the continent. While protests in both countries indicate dissatisfaction with their governments’ authoritarian turn, their origins differ, as does the European Union’s reaction to them.

Africa Begins to Rise Above Aid

An increasing number of African countries are beginning to step away from aid dependency, as the domestic private sector becomes the engine of growth across much of Africa.

INDIA: Dangers of a Lax Nuclear Strategy

On August 26, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan resigned, taking responsibility for the disastrous meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which was caused by the March 2011 undersea earthquake and ensuing tsunami.

UNCCD's Dennis Garrity Credit: Manipadma Jena/IPS

Q&A: “Grabbing of Drylands is a Serious Concern”

Designated Drylands Ambassador, United Nations Convention for Combating Desertification (UNCCD), at its 10th Conference of the Parties (COP10) in South Korea in October, Dennis Garrity is mandated to raise awareness of land degradation.

Luc Gnacadja, executive secretary of the UNCCD, at Changwon. Credit: Manipadma Jena/IPS

Q&A: ‘Soil is Key to Global Warming, Food Security’

Luc Gnacadja, in his second three-year term as executive secretary, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), is widely seen as delivering on his commitment to manage the world's drylands.

KAZAKHSTAN: Workers Fight Massive Crackdown

Workers striking in what has been described as the biggest organised threat to Kazakhstan’s authoritarian regime in the last decade are being beaten by hired thugs as the government ignores pleas for basic international labour rights to be observed.

From left to right: Ghassan Slaiby, Nassira Ghozlane and Belgacem Afaya.  Credit: Isolda Agazzi/IPS

Nascent Independent Unions Play Key Role in Arab Uprisings

In the Arab world, most trade unions are affiliated to governments, but independent labour organisations are starting to emerge.

Indigenous women hauling water in Chiapas, Mexico. Credit:  Mauricio Ramos/IPS

DEVELOPMENT: Women Demand Access to Water and Energy

"Women in LDCs bear the brunt of economic and social hardships," said Wubitu Hailu, managing director of an Ethiopian NGO, the Kulich Youth Reproductive Health and Development Organisation. The failure to provide access to basic services like clean water and electricity is a major factor preventing women from realising their full potential.

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