BERLIN Jan 17 German Foreign Minister
Frank-Walter Steinmeier was quoted on Saturday as saying he
opposed European Commission proposals on unbundling the
ownership of energy networks in the European Union.
"In my opinion, it's an unacceptable proposal for us,"
Steinmeier was quoted as saying in an interview with weekly
"We have to position our long term energy police between two
guard rails -- on one hand, low prices for consumers and on the
other hand maintaining the investment capabilities of our
companies to explore new energy sources abroad," he said.
Earlier this week German Economy Minister Michael Glos said
Berlin would examine the Commission's proposals.
Glos, who in the past has taken Brussels to task for
proposals that would hurt German firms, said recently that the
proposed unbundling of the energy networks may be
unconstitutional in Germany.
The Commission recommended last week that EU states approve
the unbundling of ownership of energy production and
distribution. The EU executive also offered but did not endorse
an alternative proposal to put distribution networks under the
control of separate entities.
Germany's biggest utility E.ON EONG.DE, as well as peer
RWE (RWEG.DE), have dismissed the idea that separating supply
and distribution businesses would improve competition.
Germany assumed the EU's rotating presidency in Jan. 1.