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Commission 'warmly supports' independence of competition authorities, says spox

TAGS: EU, Politics

The European Commission “warmly supports” the independence of national competition authorities, an EU spokesperson said Tuesday, commenting on a phone call last week between Greek Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on a newly approved law that replaced the head of the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC).

The spokesperson said the Commission is in contact with Greek authorities on the matter.

“The good collaboration between national competition authorities is important and can only be guaranteed through their independence,” she said, adding this is also the target of the relevant European directive that must be implemented in all EU state members before February 4, 2021.

The new law, which was approved as part of an omnibus bill in Parliament on August 7, bans former prime ministers, ministers and government advisers from being appointed to the boards of independent regulatory authorities for five years after leaving office.

The last president of the HCC, former Supreme Court chief Vassiliki Thanou, had been criticized over her connection with former prime minister Alexis Tsipras, whom she served in his legal office.

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