HOW TO WIN IN WATER

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* We know that football mania is taking off in Germany this year, but Gelsenwasser seems to be taking it a bit too seriously.

We have three press releases from the company (dated 4 November, 9 December and 29 December) announcing contract extensions in three towns in Germany, quoting three different mayors, Achim Menge of Oer- Erkenschwick, Michael Grossman of Werl and Wolfgang Werner of Datteln. By strange coincidence, each of them used exactly the same words to explain the contract extension, ending by praising the company as “a continuous supporter of the town, be it in school projects or a giant public screen for the Football World Cup.” Meanwhile Gelsenwasser has raised water
prices by 7.5%. Presumably the mayors will be too busy watching the World Cup to mind.

* French mayors, it seems, prefer bureaucrats to giant television screens. A judge recently ruled in a corruption case that “it is crystal clear that a secret deal has been concluded by [Saint-Dié-des-Vosges mayor] Pierret with Lyonnaise des Eaux in order to set up fake private employment of political advisors in exchange of the water management contract of the city”.