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MS EU antagonist jumps ship – to Gates-friendly University

Bill has an honorary degree from the outfit Van Miert will be running

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After the accusations of European Commission croneyism and mismanagement, Karel Van Miert, the Belgian acting European Commissioner for Competition (DGIV), will not take his chances and seek re-election to the Brussels commissariat. Bill Gates antagonist Van Miert has accepted the job as president of Nijenrode University, the only Dutch private university, which is essentially a business school for those able to afford the fees and who perhaps may not have sufficient entry qualifications to win a place at a state university. Van Miert took over from Leon Brittan at DGIV six years ago after four years at the Commission, and was previously boss of the Belgian socialist party. He steadfastly, if somewhat ineffectively, opposed Microsoft's ambitions in Europe, claiming that "It would be absolutely wrong to pretend that we take a favourable view of Bill Gates". So who's obtained a degree at Nijenrode? Why, step forward Harvard drop-out Dr Bill Gates, who was given an honorary doctorate three years ago for "Microsoft's contribution to IT education". The Dutch computer magazine Automatisering Gids opined at the time: "Microsoft is a software supplier that delivers unoriginal software products of mediocre quality. It's not one of the suppliers that removes problems in IT and education, but rather one of the main creators of such problems . . ." Our enquiry as to whether Bill was given a doctorate pecuniae causa rather than honoris causa was denied with such vehemence that it seemed clear the notion had crossed somebody's mind. Van Miert will teach a course on international competition policy -- perhaps he will call it Software, Bananas and Beef -- but we suspect Bill will not drop in to his Alma Mater. ®

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