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Financial Technology as the Most Important Know-How

In 2003, a group of citizens calling themselves “Eau Secours 31” (word play on “Help”) discovered the truth about the amount which the Compagnie générale des eaux (now Veolia) had paid as “Gate money” when they signed the concession contract with Toulouse. Dominique Baudis, then mayor of Toulouse, proudly presented these 437.5 millions of FF as the big extra proceeds of the deal with Veolia. With this money, the holes in the city’s finances could be filled, some public buildings could be built and the local taxes could be reduced. At this time, a confidential passage concerning the concession costs came to the knowledge of “Eau Secours 31“. It allowed for an increase in the price of water to finance the gate money. So it wasn’t Veolia, but the Toulouse water customers who paid it. Thus by the end of the duration of the contract in 2020, Veolia will actually have raked in more than three times the amount paid for their alleged “favour” to the city. A handsome extra profit for Veolia. The augmented fees are also hidden taxes. In fact, the water customers are paying for the city’s sundry expenses which should have been financed with this gate money. Which is illegal since 1995. In France, water proceeds must flow exclusively in water ventures! The newly elected (as of March 08) mayor of Toulouse, together with the association “Eau Secours 31”, is now working towards an early severance of the contract with Veolia. His aim is to “recommunalize” water management in Toulouse.