EU threat to fine Greece

The European Union executive on Monday threatened to fine Greece unless it shows it is obeying EU rules to open up its telecoms market. Greece is the only EU country not to have introduced an electronic communications liberalization law. The European Commission said this means Greeks have fewer telephone firms and broadband Internet services to choose from and it also hampers the roll-out of new technology such as digital broadcasting.

The EU said it would either impose daily fines or take Athens to court again unless it showed by Feb. 20 what it was doing to introduce the new rules, as ordered by a European Court of Justice ruling last April.

"Greece must implement this long-overdue directive immediately to ensure that Greek businesses and households are no longer denied the benefits enjoyed in other member states in terms of lower priced and better quality fixed voice telephony and access to new broadband services," said EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes. Only 1 percent of Greek homes have retail broadband, one of the lowest rates in the EU, reports the AP. N.U.