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The writing on the wall of Galway City Council spells Veolia?

category galway | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Tuesday April 21, 2009 18:01author by TD - Free Palestine Campaign Report this post to the editors

"This Council calls on the City Manager not to sign or renew any contracts with Veolia"

Following the passing in February of a similar motion by Sligo County Council, yesterday evening, by a majority of 12 to 2, Galway City Council passed a joint motion by Billy Cameron and Collette Connolly of the Labour Party, that called on the City Manager, Joe MacGrath, not to renew the city's water management contract with French multinational, Veolia.

Councillor Billy Cameron : That Galway City Council follow the example of Stockholm Community Council (who have decided not to renew the contract with Veolia to operate the City's underground system as a result of Veolia's involvement in a controversial tramway project that would connect Israeli-West Jerusalem with illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territory) and not renew the Veolia contract for Galway Water Services.

Councillor Collette Connolly :
(1) That Veolia is a leading partner in the consortium contracted to build a light railway system linking Israel to illegal settlements in occupied East Jerusalem.
(2) That the Irish Government and the U.N. does not recognise Israel's annexation and occupation of East Jerusalem and have repeatedly stated their views that the Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank contravene international law.
(3) That Veolia's involvement in the project is in contravention of the U.N's stated demand that Israeli settlement activities and occupation should not be supported;
This Council calls on the City Manager not to sign or renew any contracts with Veolia.

Unfortunately, same as when Councillors Billy Cameron and Niall O'Brolchain (Green Party) tried to make Galway City a "Caterpillar Free Zone" following the murder of Rachel Corrie in Gaza by an Israeli Occupation Force soldier, the same City Manager ventured the opinion that the motion would contravene EU procedures for public contracts and services and was thus "unenforceable".

However, flying in the face of this, the UK Public Contract Regulations 2006, based on European Law, Directive 2004/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 on the coordination of procedures for the award of public works, supply and service contracts, states that "a contracting authority may exclude an economic operator from bidding for a contract or may reject any such bid where it is found that the individual or organization has committed an act of grave misconduct in the course of his business or profession" (Related Link) and as Veolia's involvement in the "illegal" (Amnesty International) building of the light railway in East Jerusalem and thus the cementing of the Israeli occupation in East Jerusalem and the West Bank more than fulfills this criterion of "grave misconduct," (how can any Irish Public Contract Regulations differ?) it seems McGrath's reading of EU procedures is erroneous.? To boot, In August 2007 the Palestinian human rights organization Al Haq wrote to the presidents of Veolia and Alstom (Alstom is to provide the cars and lay the track while Veolia is to operate the system for 30 years) to inform them that the construction of the tramway was in violation of international law, also, Article 53 of the Fourth Geneva Convention forbids destruction of property. "These violations in some cases in East Jerusalem amount to war crimes, i.e. “grave breaches” of the Convention, (Articles 146 and 147), as they involve appropriation of Palestinian property not justified by military necessity. These grave breaches are being facilitated by Veolia’s participation in the construction and future of the tramway serving the settlements" (Related Link).

It beggers belief and outrages conscience that the EU, as the City Manager implies, aids and abets war crimes, then again, with its complicity in the siege of Gaza and every man jack member of the EU abstaining from a recent UN resolution condemning Israel's "massive violation" of human rights in its savage attack on the helpless Gazans, Joe MacGrath may have more than a point.?

Related Link:


The tramway under construction in Jerusalem, February 2008. (Anne Paq/ActiveStills)
The tramway under construction in Jerusalem, February 2008. (Anne Paq/ActiveStills)

author by TD - FPCpublication date Tue Apr 21, 2009 18:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Derail Veolia campaign

Caption: Embedded video Youtube Video

author by niall, india - FNBGpublication date Thu Apr 23, 2009 05:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

big ups to the stalwart galway crew, indomitable.

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Thu Apr 23, 2009 19:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Excellent of the City Councillors to bring the Veolia issue to a vote, but democracy is a rare component of how things work at Galway City Hall, with councillors often not knowing how other departments operate or cherry-picking what knowledge they accrue. What councillors want, or even vote for, doesn't necessarily make the grade. Worthy though their efforts were in this matter, it is often the case that the councillors can more quickly combine to vote on something happening far from Galway than on something negative persisting close at hand.

author by Philippublication date Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done to Galway CC,hopefully Dublin will follow suit.What Veolia are doing in East Jerusalem is disgusting and beyond comprehension

author by Fred Johnstonpublication date Fri Apr 09, 2010 13:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Try getting any councillor in Galway to make a public statement about it. The sound of scurrying feet all heading for the exit will be deafening.

author by An Sean Bhan Bhocht.publication date Sat Apr 10, 2010 18:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Last time I was in galway I had to buy Perrier French water in order not to be poisoned because Galway Corporation were incapable of providing clean water from the Corrib.

I hope the French take over:

"Oh the French are on the sea," says the Sean Bhean Bhocht,
"The French are on the sea," says the Sean Bhean Bhocht,
"Oh The French are in the Bay, they'll be here without delay,
And Galway Council will decay," says the Sean Bhean Bhocht..



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