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EU energy chapter closed

Slovakia on October 26 completed a list of legislative tasks set by the European Union for its energy sector. The chapter is the 20th out of 29 total 'chapters' of pre-entry requirements it has met since beginning accession negotiations last year.

Sector analysts said the move is another step on the path to full liberalisation of the Slovak power market. The market will be partially opened to foreign suppliers as of next year.

State power monolith Slovenské elektrárne (SE) has said it is unafraid of its new competition. "We have no fear of any competition. We are already offering electricity at prices lower than power companies in neighbouring states," said a spokeswoman for the company, Alena Melicharová.

The privatisation of SE itself began last week with the placing of an advertisement for the tender for a privatisation adviser in international press. But government figures have already said the firm will not be privatised before the next elections in 2002.

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