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EU Threatens To Take Greece To ECJ Over OTE Golden Share


BRUSSELS -(Dow Jones)- The European Commission has given Greece two months to respond to its concerns about the government's golden share in the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (HLTOY) or face being taken to the European Court of Justice.

In a press statement Thursday, the EU's executive said the Greek government's share purchase agreement with Deutsche Telekom (DTE.XE), later written into national law, left the government with too much say in the company.

"The Commission considers that the national law enables the Greek government to participate in OTE's governing bodies in a more significant manner than its shareholder status would normally allow," the statement said.

The Commission said the Greek law infringes EU freedoms and capital movement.

The ruling was part of the Commission's monthly package of so-called infringements--probes into actions by member states that may break EU laws.

The Commission said it will take Italy to court over the energy performance of buildings. It said Italy has not written into law an EU directive that says when buildings are constructed, rented or sold, an energy performance certificate must be made available to the owner or prospective buyer or tenant.

The Commission also gave Spain two months to amend its rules on excise duties to bring them in line with EU legislation. The Commission is concerned about a provision of Spain's law that imposes a penalty if the estimated journey time for excise goods is shorter than the actual time it takes.


-By Laurence Norman and Clare Connaghan, Dow Jones Newswires; +32 (0)2 741 1481;


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 26, 2012 06:58 ET (10:58 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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