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Ireland to keep control of energy transmission networks

The Irish government will retain majority control of the distribution and transmission networks of the state-run electricity and gas companies, said Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte.

“You can’t allow a situation where people can start trading in the networks because they can make profit and profit and profit again and they can then starve the infrastructure of the necessary investment,” he added.

Instead of divesting in the networks, the country will look where to raise EUR2bn from selling non-strategic state assets.

He also dismissed calls by Juergen Stark, the outgoing chief economist of the European Central Bank, for Ireland to ramp up its austerity measures. “I think arguments that we should further depress the economy because of an inflexible ideological position is not the way to go. We need to be able to permit the Irish economy to resuscitate itself and to be capable of getting back into the markets.”

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