NEWS

EC action looms over games ban

The European Commission yesterday formally asked Greece to lift a controversial ban on the installation and use of computer games in public places, implemented nearly two years ago in a bid to fight illegal gambling. Brussels sent Athens a reasoned opinion on the matter, the second step before taking a member state to court. The Commission argued that the ban prevented games legally produced or marketed in other EU members to be exported to Greece, and stopped EU businesses legitimately providing services related to electronic games from providing the same services to Greece. Also yesterday, the Commission sent a reasoned opinion to Greece and another seven member states over their failure to incorporate in their national legislation an EU directive on protecting the privacy of electronic communications by fighting junk e-mail and the installation of identifier «cookies» on Internet users’ computers. «This directive is vital to ensure privacy and data protection are assured in an online world,» Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Erkki Liikanen said.