OECD urges France to complete privatisation of Air France, France Telecom

6th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, July 6 (AFP) - France should complete privatisation of Air France and France Telecom and should separate the telecom group from its cable business, the OECD recommended on Tuesday in a review of regulatory reform in France.

PARIS, July 6 (AFP) - France should complete privatisation of Air France and France Telecom and should separate the telecom group from its cable business, the OECD recommended on Tuesday in a review of regulatory reform in France.

It also called for the creation of a "totally independent regulatory authority to oversee allocation of landing slots and servicing contracts in the civil aviation sector".

And the powers of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority should be strengthened to "enhance competition".

Commenting that France had reduced the role of the state in its economy and had largely opened its networks to competition, the OECD said that "further progress is still possible in some network industries and utilities".

The government should "complete the privatisation of Air France and France Telecom", the OECD said and divest the telecom operator of its cable subsidiary "as part of a strategy to strengthen competition in cable television".

France owns 44.7 percent of Air France but has said it plans the holding to fall to about 20 percent, and it owns 52.5 percent of France Telecom.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said that "the role of the state in the economy needs to be more clearly defined as part of a strategy to improve competition and avoid conflicts of interest in markets".

The Paris-based organisation said that France was one of a number of OECD countries to have requested an OECD review of regulatory practices and reforms.

The OECD also picked out bureaucracy as an area in which France could make improvements.

In recent years successive governments had simplified arrangements for people to communicate with public administrations. "France has become a leader among OECD countries in making administrative forms and regulatory codes available on line."

But more could be done, for example by providing "one-stop shops" where people could deal with all types of administrative matter, from taxes to driving licences.

Noting that decentralisation had increased the responsibilities of local authorities, the OECD warned that "public spending is high compared to other OECD countries and might not be sustainable in the long run" and that decentralisation had also resulted in the responsibilities of the state and local authorities overlapping.

 

© AFP

 

Subject: French news

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