Environment minister unveils changes to draft energy markets bill

Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister George Papaconstantinou on Friday unveiled a series of changes and amendments to a draft bill on the electricy, natural gas and the hydrocarbon distribution markets, speaking before Parliament's Educational Affairs Committee.
He said the changes adopted several proposals made by energy market agencies and political parties.
Ruling PASOK and New Democracy MPs welcomed a number of the changes, including one that significantly restricted the greater powers afforded to the Regulatory Authority for Energy in the original version of the bill. The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) opposed the envisaged changes, however, saying that they were moving in the direction "of depriving working-class households of electricity" and were designed only to facilitate the plans of big players in the energy market.
Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) MPs backed KKE's position and also denounced articles referring to Greek gold mines, which they said allowed the minister to discount the decisions of forestry and other authorities and do the bidding of private companies with a single signature.

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