by Whitney Webb
Last Friday, Slovenia amended its constitution to protect its abundant clean water supplies from corporate greed.
In 2013, Nestle’s then-CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe drew the ire of many when he declared that water is not a human right, but a market commodity. Nestle, the world’s largest food company, has been a leader among corporations involved in the privatization of water, often outbidding communities for the right to manage their own water supplies. Though Brabeck-Letmathe’s sentiments are shared by several Western governments, the country of Slovenia has stood up to corporate greed and has enshrined access to clean drinking water as a human right guaranteed by the nation’s constitution.
Slovenia’s 90-seat parliament voted 64 in favor and 0 against to add an article to its constitution which states that “everyone has the right to drinkable water.” The article also rejects the idea that water is a market commodity, instead declaring that “water resources represent a public good that is managed by the state. The Slovenian Democratic Party, who oppose the current ruling party, chose to abstain from voting, saying that amending the constitution was unnecessary and aimed at boosting the ruling party’s popularity.