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In the red corner

12 December 2005

Huddled over an ale with War on Want's crack campaigners in Wan Chai last night, the conversation turned to Peter Mandelson. For all his proclamations of being "passionate about trade justice", the EU's trade commissioner is "knocking six bells" out of developing countries, observed War on Want campaign chief and trade encyclopaedia John Hilary.

Harangued into action by Europe's services lobby, Mandy is pushing for a WTO package that would carve open services markets the world over. Everything from water and transport to energy and education would be fair game, with poor countries required to open services in at least 93 services. All states would also be obliged to up the maximum holding foreign investors are allowed in domestic companies to 51 per cent, effectively declaring the developing world a services Wild West. Genius.

War on Want's own blog, penned by affable spinner John Coventry, can be found here

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