I heard this rumor kind of third or fourth hand. I was also rather skeptical, because it just doesn't seem to make any sense to me either, especially so with solid walls.
I believe that virtually all of Continental Europe allows receptacles in bathrooms; it's only the U.K. and Ireland which specify isolated shaver outlets only, to the best of my knowledge. Again, it did seem illogical to be so pedantic about cables in the walls.
Interesting on the drywall going up on aluminum frames though. New construction here still favors brick outside walls, but inside partitions are usually drywall on timber studwork (drywall is known as "plasterboard" here).
[This message has been edited by pauluk (edited 06-16-2002).]