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Energ sector organisation: Italy Traditionally the energy sector in Italy has been state-owned. ENI, the major holding company, has several subsidiaries that deal with various aspects of the energy sect,or. As a consequence of the EU's internal market legislation as well as the general trend towards privatisation, ENI is being gradually privatised. A law authorising the privatisation of major public companies was passed in 1992 40 Energy Policy in the European Union marking the end of an era of very pervasive state ownership in Italian economic life (Lucas, 1985).

Biomass has a large share of total energy consumption (11 per cent). Almost all oil, gas and coal is imported. Austria is an 'umbilical cord' for the importation of gas from Russia, and a pipeline is currently being constructed between Baumgarten in Austria and Gyor in Hungary in order to link Hungary to the Western grid. Austria is also a key transit country for westbound Russian gas, and is thus in a position to increase its gas supply without constructing additional infrastructure. Import offuel is essential to Belgium - there are no indigenous fossil fuels and the last coal mine was closed in 1992.

In 1993 Finland signed a contract for additional supplies of gas from Russia. The 'Finnish Energy Strategy' from 1992 sets out three goals: security of supply, market efficiency and limitation of emissions. Carbon taxes and 'no regrets' policies have been developed in detail in Finland. Sweden satisfies an important share of its energy requirement with nuclear electricity, which together with hydro-electricity makes for reductions in emissions as well as accounting for a high proportion of the domestic energy supply.

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