IT'S not often that the European Union can claim credit for reducing the cost of living and making life easier. The reverse is more often said to be the case, whether that assertion is justified or not. But this week the European Parliament has voted strongly for a European Commission proposal to cap the cost of making or receiving a mobile telephone call from another European country, the so-called roaming charge. There are almost 500 million mobile phone subscribers in Europe of whom about 150 million use roaming services. Among the main beneficiaries of this change will be tourists: a typical four-minute call from Spain to Britain currently costs about four pounds and will drop to less than half that under the new arrangement with further reductions expected in subsequent years.
EU CUTS MOBILE COSTS