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Market liberalisation stalls

Germany's planned liberalisation of its electricity market is looking less likely to happen before next autumn's general election. Chairman of utility Energie-Versorgung Schwaben, Wilfried Steuer, has publicly declared that achieving this time frame is "anything but certain." He puts the blame on municipal utilities and the opposition Social Democrat and Greens parties, which have closed ranks against the government plans. The government will come under increasing pressure to get its legislation passed as federal elections approach in the autumn of 1998 and the deadline for translating the European Electricity Directive into national law looms on February 19, 1999.

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