EU states agree on postal liberalisation plan

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LUXEMBOURG, Oct 1 (Reuters) European Union countries agreed on Monday to open their postal markets to full competition from 2011, with 11 countries given a further two years to comply, the EU presidency said.

The decision is a setback for the European Commission, which had proposed stripping away the remaining barriers to competition from 2009.

EU states and the European Parliament have the final say.

The measure has sparked protests by postal workers in many EU nations, particularly France, who fear job losses.

States that will not open their markets until 2013 are Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

REUTERS SBA HS1945

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