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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #296 - Public services, Privatization of ADP: why refuse the big Macronian sellout (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Tue, 13 Aug 2019 09:22:06 +0300

The privatization of Aéroports de Paris (ADP) is far from being a problem for the Parisian bourgeoisie who has the means to travel regularly by plane. It is above all an announced social and ecological disaster and an attack on the collective heritage. Fighting against it is a necessity. ---- The privatization process of ADP was brought back to the fore by the procedure of referendum of shared initiative (RIP) supported by parliamentarians of various persuasions and carried by CGT ADP. This extremely demanding process (see box below) promises to be a crucial political issue for the coming months. How should we approach this case ? ---- First, keep in mind that this is not an isolated case. It takes place in a wave of attempts to privatize airports: that of Toulouse Blagnac is still ongoing, despite a recent decision to annul the administrative court, seized by the combative unions (Solidaires, CGT, FSU) that are active on the site. More generally, it is never anything but a dimension of the great destruction of the public service (hospital, school, railway ...) launched by the government, and which threatens to extend to the national roads: the LOM law of 2019 makes it possible to sell certain segments of national channels previously free to highway dealers such as Vinci.

Brader ADP is, however, of great economic irrationality. The dry losses for public finances have been abundantly emphasized: 200 million euros less each year. But the question of competition has been little discussed. Yet the first economist to come knows that international airports, like highways, are what are called " natural monopolies ": the costs of entering such markets are prohibitive, so there can not be any. competition.

Development of outsourcing
Owners can therefore gorge themselves by blazing prices and degrading the quality of service. The users of the motorways conceded to Vinci for a pittance know something: according to Le Parisien , between 2011 and 2018, tariffs for French motorways increased by nearly 10 %. And for good reason: it is unlikely that a private investor comes to build another highway for the same route, thus playing the competition. The same goes for the airport sector: no one will come to build an airport to compete with sites in the Paris region (CDG, Roissy ...), all of which are owned by ADP.

The privatization of ADP is also a delayed social disaster. As the Secretary General of the CGT ADP pointed out to L'Humanité , a partial privatization procedure had already been launched in 2005. Result: 1,600 jobs lost in a few years, and an important development of subcontracting. The same goes for the concession of motorways, where each time a factory is sold to another band of unscrupulous shareholders: corporate resales are often the occasion for major wage degreasing operations.

This may seem strange, but keeping ADP under state control is also an environmental issue: reducing the significant pollution caused by air transport will be all the more difficult as private capital has taken control of the sector. According to the Ministry of Ecology, aviation represents " 2 % of carbon emissions across all sectors and 13 % of those related to transport activities in the world ", so it is not a secondary issue.

Nevertheless, the intentions of parliamentarians calling for a referendum are not always as pure: some support the proposal with the objective of an explosion of air traffic, which can not be supported if we are concerned about the environment. Not to mention the enormous difficulties that mark the referendum procedure and its concrete conditions: it is necessary to be registered on the electoral lists (which leaves out strangers and many French people), while the site internet to support the proposal is riddled with bugs and accessibility issues.

The illusion of the " republican front "
But although we think of the referendum procedure, one thing is certain: it is a beautiful thorn in the foot of the government, because it contributes to crisping the business climate and therefore to delay the sale. In addition, 250,000 signatures were already collected on June 21, about 5 % of the total required, after only a few days of campaigning.

However, there is no question of maintaining the illusion of the " republican front " with the right, which sees the fight against privatization as a matter of national grandeur. That jobs are abolished and the environment ravaged by the state or the private capitalists does not change anything fundamental. Public property makes sense only if it allows democratic control: leaving transport to politicians or senior officials is not satisfactory.

This campaign for a referendum must be an opportunity to ask the question that counts: that of the self-management of the means of production, and especially transport, because those who work there and have an interest. The kind of questions that " Republican fronts " can not ask.

Mathis (UCL Lyon)

Shared initiative referendum: a procedure designed to never come to an end

First step: obtain the support of one fifth of the members of the Assembly and the Senate and the approval of the Constitutional Council. This milestone was achieved for the first time since the introduction of the RIP in the constitution in 2008.
Step two: Reach the support of one in ten voters, 4.7 million people nine months after the start of the collection (ie March 2020, in this case). A much larger number than what is required for the Swiss People's Initiative, which only requires the signature of one in every fifty voters within eighteen months.
Third step: get the presidency of the republic to hold the referendum, provided that the parliament does not decide to examine the issue of privatization itself within six months after collecting the signatures. If not, the procedure is canceled. Suffice to say that we are far from the citizens' initiative claimed by the yellow vests.

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