Local February 26, 2016 | 8:10 am

EU slams Dominican Republic’s tycoon families

Santo Domingo.- EuropeanUnion Delegation envoy Alberto Navarro on Thursday slammed the wealthy localfamilies, which in his view most hinder commercial competition in the countryand said he hopes one day they’ll understand the issue’s importance.

"I speak, for example, of the Vicini family," Navarrosaid drawing applause for several seconds from the broad audience present for theII National Forum on Competition, held at the Embassy Suites hotel.

He said in practice to have free competition means one cannotcreate cartels, cannot fix prices or control markets and not abusing a dominantposition.

"The dominant position in itself is not negative, whatis negative is to use it to get to other competitors in the market and forother purposes that aren’t justified," Navarro said to an audience with manybusiness leaders surprised to hear the name Vicini.

He warned a specific competition policy isn’t just sending signals,holding training sessions or talks, but to put it into practice. "For acompetition policy to work unfortunately it’s often necessary to impose sanctions."

Navarro’s statements drew numerous comments from forum participants."Wow, he mentioned the name of those powerful," whispered a governmentofficial reaching to the diplomat’s surprising speech.

"When we want to consolidate democracy and advance theinstitutionalization and democratic regime, the sovereign is theconsumer," said the European Union envoy.

He said in developing nations, "the poorer the countrythe less attention given to the consumer and support producers and businessesinstead."

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