Significant hurdles are still in the way of full competition in the telecommunications market between European Union member countries, according to anti-trust chief Karel Van Miert. The markets are supposed to be fully opened for competition by January 1 1998, but although Van Miert professed to be broadly encouraged by progress to date, there are still three major issues blocking the way, he said. The first is a lack of clarity over interconnection between local and long distance phone lines. Secondly, some governments were being too slow granting licenses to rival carriers. And thirdly, there was an inadequate supply of phone numbers in six or seven countries, he said. Belgium, Luxembourg, Greece, Spain and Portugal were the countries accused of lagging behind, while Sweden, Finland, Denmark and the UK were viewed as having largely opened up their telecommunications markets already.