Parliament approves unanimously "Water is ours" citizens’ initiative

Citizens’ initiative “Water is ours” (Finnish: Water is ours) has been adopted unanimously by Parliament.

The aim of the initiative was to prevent the privatization of Finland’s water supply, and it is so far the first such citizens’ initiative to have received unanimous support from MPs. Parliament has previously approved only two other citizens’ initiatives.

The proposal was submitted to Parliament with more than 89,000 signatures, well above the required 50,000 threshold.

The Water is Our initiative was launched by six members of the Left Alliance party from across Finland, including Olli Kohonen, chairman of the party’s Northern Ostrobothnia branch.

Privatization of water supply has led to rising water prices, left-wing politicians argued by adversely affecting water quality and the environment.

"Prices have risen, service levels have suffered and the environment has suffered. Health security, which is becoming increasingly important, can be a problem if water supply is given to a user who wants to benefit from it," Kohonen said that the initiative was forwarded to Parliament.

Kohonen launched the initiative after hearing about the City of Jyväskylä’s plans to sell a minority stake in its water and energy company last year.

The adopted initiative now enters the legislative process and will be the subject of a bill which will be debated and voted on by Parliament at a later stage.

Source: The Nordic Page


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