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Touchie-Feelie Neelie not ambitious enough

The FT says Almunia has used a report he's prepared on Kroes' single telecoms market proposals to put the boot in, calling her plans unambitious and strongly advocating the creation of a single European telecoms regulator to replace the 28 national regulators currently in post.

Kroes has spoken of a proper single market in Europe across which telecoms operators can both compete and consolidate where necessary. And she has characterised her war on roaming charges as a sort of opening shot in this process of breaking down artificial commercial barriers across the continent.

But Alumania says these plans just don't go far enough. According to the FT Mr Almunia's office says they are 'suboptimal'. There are worries over competition rules and over allowing operators into other countries, it says.

That sort of language doesn't get let off the leash without some forethought (oops I just accidentally seemed to call Mrs Kroes unambitious), so despite the usual "European Union Official playing down" the spatette, the result is an air of uncertainty over the Kroes proposals.

Indeed we have long pointed out Neelie Kroes utterances seemed like a careful walk through a minefield - an attempt to keep the big telcos onside by offering consolidation and a loosening of net neutrality in return for them not barracking her too much over a ban on throttling and a terminal assault on excessive roaming charges. (see - Euro-muddle over competition in Europe)

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