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Free marketeers fight for fullestservices liberalisation

brussels bureau

Free marketeers fight for fullestservices liberalisation


Six countries have reiterated they do not want much cut out of the EU directive on opening up the services market.

This comes after the biggest parties in the European Parliament agreed on a compromise which would eliminate the controversial country of origin principle.

Both eastern and western states — Britain, Spain, The Netherlands, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic — have written to the European Commission saying large economic sectors must not be kept closed to competition.

The proposals would make it easier for European companies to offer services, ranging from beauty salons to plumbing and architecture, across EU borders.

The most highly sensitive sectors include public services of general interest such as education and health, which critics of the bill argue must remain under guaranteed protection.

Trade union demonstrations are planned when
the full parliament meets in Strasbourg next week for debate, followed by a first reading vote on the so-called Bolkestein directive on February 16th.

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brussels bureau