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Peter Mandelson stands up for the free market on mobile phone roaming fees; Jacques Chirac praises Vladimir Putin. Plus David Miliband's sex appeal

By Manneken Pis   September 2006

Mandelson takes a stand

Peter Mandelson has made a point of sticking almost as closely to his current boss, European commission president José Manuel Barroso, as to his old one, Tony Blair. But a dispute over mobile phone operators has prompted their first bust-up. The rift over roaming fees—the charges levied for using foreign networks within the EU—could presage a broader split on economic policy.

After a fractious meeting of the college of 25 commissioners, Mandelson was left fuming at the way the matter was handled. The British commissioner had lobbied hard for a lighter form of intervention, although…

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