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The commission is still trying to decide whether there is a European alternative to Anglo-Saxon capitalism

By Manneken Pis   January 2000

Europe’s political funnybone

It says something about the Euro-Zeitgeist that the defining moment for the Prodi commission-just four months in-may turn out to be a hostile takeover bid for a vast German engineering conglomerate by an upstart British mobile telephone operator from Newbury in Berkshire. Vodafone’s ?80 billion bid for Mannesmann has acted like a sledgehammer on the political funnybones of those who make it their business to define the European “model”-not least the European commission itself.

In Britain, it is widely assumed that the Eurocrats are endlessly planning the undermining of the nation-state; but in fact they have long…

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