France isolated on opening up EU energy market

Published March 25th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

France found itself isolated in its stance over the liberalisation of Europe's energy market at the summit of EU leaders in Stockholm on Saturday, British Foreign Minister Robin Cook said. 

 

During talks Saturday morning, France ensured that a post-summit document would not name a date by which the electricity market should be opened up, said one European source. 

 

"We got agreement that we must make progress on gas and electricity," Cook told the British television station Sky News.  

 

"I think it is fair to say that everybody in the room would want it to go further, except the French, who held out against it, but were very isolated and there was a clear message to them that we must make progress on this over the next year," he said. 

 

"I am actually very pleased about the way that debate went. I am confident that we are going the right way and that we are now making progress," Cook added. 

 

Sources said the text mentions only that gas and electricity markets should be opened to competition "as soon as possible." France had been unhappy that the year 2005 had been set as the date limit.—AFP. 

©--Agence France Presse 2001. 

 

© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)

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