Feb. 22 (Bloomberg) — The European Union’s financial services chief, Michel Barnier, said the EU isn’t pushing for water privatization, according to the transcript of an interview in Vienna’s Der Standard newspaper.

Municipalities need to be more transparent about costs of providing water services, the paper cited Barnier as saying. Municipalities have the “autonomy” to decide on different models of water supplies, the executive said.

Barnier told the paper he supports a European citizen petition to enshrine the right to water. Austria’s Social Democratic Party has been waging a campaign ahead of local elections pledging to protect water supplies from privatization.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Tirone in Vienna at jtirone@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Randall Hackley at rhackley@bloomberg.net