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April 8, 2010

Eurozone economy did not grow at all in last quarter of 2009

Eurozone economy did not grow at all in last quarter of 2009

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

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According to revised official figures, the economy of the eurozone, the sixteen European countries using the euro, did not grow at all in the final quarter of last year. Eurostat reports that the number was revised from an initial figure of +0.1%.

Meanwhile, the eurozone’s lost more than 2.2% in a year-on year comparison, more than the initial estimate of 2.1%.

According to the numbers, Ireland saw an output drop of 2.3% in the last quarter of 2009, while Greece, the country in the eurozone with the most debt, had its economy contract by 0.8%. Italy was down by 0.3%, Germany saw no gain, but France posted a 0.6% quarterly growth.

The Associated Press reports the stagnation was unexpected by analysts, and will only reinforce expectations that the European Central Bank will keep the key interest rate at one percent for most of 2010.



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January 29, 2010

Eurozone unemployment rate reaches ten percent

Eurozone unemployment rate reaches ten percent

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Friday, January 29, 2010

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The unemployment rate in the Eurozone, or the sixteen countries in which the euro is used, reached ten percent last December, for the first time since the euro was introduced in 1999.

A ten-percent jobless rate was initially recorded in November, although that was later revised down to 9.9%. According to Eurostat, 15.8 million people now are without jobs in the Eurozone. For all 27 countries in the European Union, 23 million people collectively are unemployed.

Eurostat reports that 87,000 jobs were lost throughout the eurozone in December, the smallest loss since May.

Latvia had the highest jobless rate for the EU, at 22.8%, whilst Spain has the highest for the eurozone, at 19.5%. The two countries with the lowest unemployment rates were the Netherlands and Austria, with jobless figures of 4% and 5.4%, respectively.

An analyst for IHS Global Insight, Howard Archer, commented on the figures. “Although the rise in eurozone unemployment has slowed in recent months, it still seems poised to trend higher during much, if not all, of 2010,” he noted.



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November 15, 2009

European Union emerges from recession

European Union emerges from recession – Wikinews, the free news source

European Union emerges from recession

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

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The European Union has emerged from its worst recession since World War II, with the announcement on Friday that the region posted a modest growth in the third quarter. Despite the news, some EU economies including Spain and the United Kingdom are still struggling.

Both the European Union as a whole and the sixteen EU countries sharing the euro currency (the “eurozone“) posted positive growth, at 0.2 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. This follows five consecutive quarters of negative growth. The data was published by the European statistical agency Eurostat and announced by the European Commission in Brussels.

Two of Europe’s biggest economies, France and Germany, helped drive the overall growth. French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde announced the French economy had grown 0.3 percent in the third quarter, and predicted it would enter 2010 with its old momentum.

In an interview on French radio, Lagarde said the fact the French economy had posted two successive quarters of positive growth showed it was turning around. She also noted that the labour market had only shed 5,000 jobs in the last quarter, far fewer than at the beginning of the year. Speaking from Singapore, Lagarde predicted Asia would drive the world economic recovery — but she also said it was important to continue government economic stimulus measures through 2010.

Germany’s economy grew 0.7 percent in the third quarter and Italy and the Netherlands also posted an upturn. Lithuania recorded the biggest growth — up 6 percent in the third quarter.

However the economies of both Spain and the United Kingdom shrunk in the same quarter. The UK’s Office for National Statistics initially estimated a fall of 0.4 percent in British output, though this could be revised. Britain had widely been expected to show growth in the third quarter. Eurostat figures also showed that unemployment in Europe overall rose to 9.7 percent in September — the highest in 20 years.

Some economists believe that growth in Europe and the United States may slow or even reverse in 2010, in a so called “double-dip”. Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight warned that the end of some government stimulus such as car scrappage schemes could cause a “loss of momentum”. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the IMF, disagreed, predicting in a statement from Singapore that 2010 would be a global “year of recovery”.



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March 30, 2007

Women\’s groups promote \”Equal Pay Day\” in Belgium

Women’s groups promote “Equal Pay Day” in Belgium

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Catholic Worker’s Women Movement (KAV) militants gave out big Easters eggs to women, and small ones to men, to compensate for the gender pay gap.

The ACV trade union’s easter bunny also handed out chocolates on the Friday morning market in Leuven.

Today, several trade unions and women’s organisations organised actions in public places and companies all over Belgium to promote equal pay for women. Volunteers handed out flyers about the issue at the Brussels Airport and the Brussels subway and in train stations, companies, hospitals and schools throughout the country.

The third edition of the U.S.-inspired Equal Pay Day was called for by the socialist women’s organisations zij-kant and the women-section of the trade union ABVV, in partnership with their Francophone equivalents, PS-women and the union FGTB, the Institute for Equality of Women and Men, the Catholic Worker’s Women Movement (KAV) and the union ACV.

The Institute for Equality of Women and Men reports that wages are still on average 15% lower for women in Belgium. This figures varies in different studies. In a report ordered by the trade unions, the Higher Institute for Work of the Catholic University of Leuven reports a pay difference of 26%, based on an analysis of the wages of 20 000 men and women. This also results in an inequity in pensions.

According to the Structure of Earnings Survey by Eurostat, the European gender pay-gap mounts to 26%, whereas in Belgium the difference is around 17%. Sweden, Poland, Hungary and Slovenia are doing even better, while in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Cyprus women earn around 30% less.

ABVV volunteers handed out flyers and recompensated women by giving chocolate euros.

The inequity in payment results from company’s human resource management, but is also influenced by the role of the women in the family, education, and so on. But even when these factors are taken into account, there is still a difference of 5 to 7%.

The organisations acknowledge that there have been small improvements, and that there have been hopeful political steps since their action last year. Because their target of equal wages for men and woman has moved a little bit closer, they’ve decided to hold the third edition one day earlier, on March 30 instead of March 31. This date symbolises the 15 months a woman has to work on average to earn the same as her male colleague. In the United States, the difference is bigger, and hence the Equal Pay Day is only held on April 24. The European Equal Pay Day was been held last February 22.

With their campaign, the organisation urges politicians to improve the rapports on the phenomenon, to encourage gender-friendly human resource management in businesses, to address gender-issues in the schools, and to keep their previous promises.

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