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2007 OECD Economic Surveys: Greece 2007

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Greece 2007

This edition of OECD's periodic survey of Greece examines recent economic performance and key challenges including fiscal consolidation, reform of pensions, easing entry into the labour market, improving tertiary education, and fostering competition in network industries.

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Fostering competition in network industries

Effective competition in the network industries remains weak. While commendable progress was made in partly or fully privatising state-owned enterprises, the stake of the government in key public utilities remains high, and price regulation is still pervasive, especially in the transport sector. Substantial challenges exist in the energy sector, where vertical integration hampers the emergence of genuine competition, despite the legal opening of the market. In telecommunications, the unbundling of the local loop needs to be speeded up to facilitate access to broadband services and the rapid diffusion of information technologies. The postal services market is being liberalised gradually, in line with the relevant EU Directive. Important concerns arise, however, about the financing of a universal service. In the transport sector, the liberalisation of ferry economy class fares is expected to trigger competition, but the privatisation of the national airline is still pending. Regulation of the road freight sector has remained among the most restrictive in the OECD. In the railway industry, reforms need to continue to promote competition. Effective regulators are essential for ensuring non-discriminatory access to the network and fostering competition in all the newly liberalised sectors.

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