The Workers’ Party of Belgium (PTB/PVDA) has opposed the proposed sale of the cable distribution company, Voo, to the American investment fund, Providence. The Workers’ Party has demanded that the state intervene and convert it into an EDP (Public Democratic Enterprise).
Voo was formed in 2006 as an initiative by the economic interest grouping (GIE) of the telecommunication providers of the Brussels-Charleroi region (BruTele) and the region of Liège (Nethys). The plans for the sale of Voo by Nethys to Providence became public in September.
On December 18, Germain Mugemangango, French spokesperson for the PTB and Walloon regional deputy, explained the party’s objection to the sale. “It would be a big mistake to sell Voo to Providence, the buyer chosen by Nethys. Providence is an American investment fund whose business is to buy [firms] at a low price and then resell [them] a few years later at a higher price. This privatization would be disastrous for Voo’s customers and workers,” he said.
“This sale would be another holdup of public money. For years, the people of Liège have invested, through their gas and electricity bills, in Voo so as to make it a successful business. Today, the traditional parties want to privatize the company, Once again, we would witness a socialization of losses and privatization of profits. This is unacceptable,” said Germain Mugemangango.
PTB and others who oppose the sale of Voo have given a call for a mobilization on December 23 in front of the headquarters of the inter-municipal cooperative company, Enodia, which is the parent company of Nethys.