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May 3, 1994

DELORS WARNS STATE TELECOM COMPANIES

By CBR Staff Writer

An unexpected cold dose of reality from European Commission President Jacques Delors, who last week told the European Parliament’s Socialist group that state telecommunications monopolies would soon be in deep trouble if they persisted with social policies such as keeping domestic telephone tariffs much lower than those for international calls for public service considerations, so that companies from outside the European Union are making big bucks – and will soon make much bigger ones – by by-passing the monopolies: Today it is easier to have an (AT&T Corp) card in Brussels… and to telephone via New York to one’s parents in Milan or Berlin than to use the facilities of Belgacom… or a German company – the result is that we are being nibbled away at while we sit on our principles not wanting to resolve our power conflicts, he said, noting that telephone networks are often kept under monopoly control supposedly because of social considerations but actually because bureaucrats do not want to lose their power, he said – there are states that have a monopoly but in which 20% of the telephone communications take place outside that country.

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