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What They Stand For: Gaza, China, Phones …

  • November 9th, 2006
  • Posted by EUEditor

eu-flag-reduced-larger.pngStatements this week (WB 6.11.06) on the tragedy in Gaza; making money in Hong Kong, and consumers who lose big money to their phone company, when they leave home …

GAZA

Current operations by Israeli forces in Gaza causing heavy civilian casualties have been reproved by the European Union in this statement (8.11.06) by its External Relations Commissioner, Benita Ferrero-Waldner:

The killing this morning of so many civilians in Gaza, including many children, is a profoundly shocking event. Israel has a right to defend itself, but not at the price of the lives of the innocent. It is very important for all parties to exercise utmost restraint … At this critical juncture all sides have a responsibility to give dialogue a chance.

CHINA’S OPEN DOOR

The “one country, two systems” policy for Hong Kong and China has been endorsed once again by the EU on the occasion of a visit to Brussels by the Hong Kong Chief Executive, Donald Tsang (7.11.06).

Both sides described the arrangement as giving Hong Kong autonomy to provide a framework for European companies to develop their commercial interests in Asia.

DON’T PHONE HOME

Much closer to home for most Europeans, they have been complaining hard about high charges for the “roam” facility on mobile phones when travellng away from their home country.

Some 24,500 people told a survey they were paying charges FOUR TIMES HIGHER than normal when going to a neighbouring country – which 44% of them had done in the last year.

That means charges of EU 4-6, sometimes even EU 12 for a four-minute call (from A$6.64 to A$19:00 a call; Decrates), and an overwhelming majority (70%) are saying the EU must intervene.

The survey (published 7.11.06) gives the European Commission political backing for regulations now before the European Parliament, against a practice it sees as a high impost on business and consumers – the “last visible border in Europe’s internal market.”

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