Commodification and ‘the commons’: The politics of privatising public water in Greece and Portugal during the Eurozone crisis

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Series Details Volume 24, Number 4, Pages 934-957
Publication Date December 2018
ISSN 1354-0661 (print) | 1460-3713 (online)
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In response to the Eurozone crisis, austerity and restructuring has been imposed on the European Union’s peripheral member states in order to receive financial bailout loans. In addition to cuts in funding for essential public services, cuts in public sector employment and the further liberalisation of labour markets, this has also included pressure towards the privatisation of state assets. Yet, workers have not simply accepted these restructuring pressures; rather, they have organised and fought back against austerity and enforced privatisation.

Based on a historical-materialist perspective and following a strategy of incorporated comparison, in this article, we will comparatively assess the struggles against enforced water privatisation in Greece and Portugal set against the background of the structuring conditions surrounding the Eurozone crisis.

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