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The voice of Europe has changed. Out goes uptight but efficient Klaus van der Pas, to run the enlargement task force that will haggle for years to come with Poles, Czechs and others about joining the club. In comes Luxembourgeoise Martine Reicherts, straight from the cabinet of commission president Jacques Santer, and already inspiring a fashion watch after her first day in an extraordinary 101 Dalmatians jacket.

She impressed the hacks at her first press conference and was instantly dubbed “Third Reicherts” for her brusque manner. Stefan Rating, new spokesman for competition commissioner Karel van Miert, soon discovered why. He…

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