The new budgetary law for 2002 (art. 35) establishes new principles for the local public utility industries, aiming at an overall liberalization. These principles recall, although only partially, a reforming design already proposed in the past legislature, but finally not approved. In both cases, the core of the policy strategy lyes in the principle of competition for the market through compulsory competitive bidding for temporary operation of the public utility system, and in the separation between ownership (and possibly management) of infrastructure and service operation. This essay provides a critical analysis of the reform, discussing its likely implementation process and the underlying industrial policy strategy, as well as enlightening some obscure and incoherent aspects.