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Moldova: Privatizing Electricity Called A Priority

Kyiv, 9 May 1998 (RFE/RL) -- Moldova says privatizing its energy sector is a top priority.

Privatization Minister Iurie Badir said stakes in three power plants and five energy distributors will be offered to investors in September. He made the comment in a presentation to delegates at the board meeting of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, taking place in Kyiv.

Economics Minister Ion Gutu told potential foreign investors at the meeting that Moldova has a "virtually free market" for electricity and the government has vowed not to interfere. He said this means firms that do not pay their electricity bills will have their services cut off. But Gutu said his country needs a pricing policy in line with the cost of producing electricity.

Gutu, who is also a deputy prime minister, said the plan for the energy sector will affect every citizen in the country.