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Making Airline Deals, Making Money and Keeping (Fairly) Young

  • March 30th, 2007
  • Posted by EUEditor

eu-flag-reduced1.pngThe EU signs another aviation accord, this time with Malaysia; posts stronger growth figures for the Euro Area, and counts up a prime future resource – the young people of Europe.

CHANGING THE AIR SYSTEM

The EU’s signing of an aviation accord with Malaysia (23.3.07) has been hailed in Brussels as a further step in developing links with Asia.

Agreements have already been signed with Singapore and Vietnam, and according to EC Vice President Jacques Barrot, more will follow.

The agreements standardise existing bi-lateral deals between overseas countries and member countries of the EU; they are seen as non-discriminatory, and give the airline industry flexibility in setting up links between outside ports, and any city in the EU.

All-of-EU air agreements have been signed so far with 25 countries, including, recently, the first-stage of such a connection with the United States.

Altogether 70 countries have accepted the principle of an EU designation, moving away from strict and exclusive country-to-country links worked out in the 1940s.

ECONOMIC GROWTH

The last quarter of 2006 has made it a “good vintage year” for the Euro area countries, according to economists at the European Commission.

Buoyant domestic demand and external trade performances produced a GDP increase of 0.9%; there was substantial jobs growth, leaving end-of-year unemployment at 7.4% – not good, but the best since 1993.

The EU Area is the economic zone of the thirteen countries which use the Euro currency: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Slovenia.

All of the 27 EU member countries are committed by treaty to adopt the joint currency; several are working to match economic benchmarks required in order to be able to accede to it, and some notably Sweden and the United Kingdom have held out in response to local political resistance.

YOUTH PROFILES

The statistics agency, Eurostat, has been taking stock of the youth of Europe, aged 16-24..

It brought out a survey timed to coincide with a youth congress held in Rome for the 50th anniversary of the European Union, on 25.3.07.

Some of the findings on these participants, persons less than half the age of the supranational body they were commemorating:

Three out of every ten people in the EU are aged under 25, a fact that adjusts the often-said truth that Europeans, statistically speaking, are rapidly getting older. Three tenths of 516-million people is over 154-million – quite a lot of chutzpah and excess energy for Old Europe.

Three quarters of young people have completed secondary school; a fifth of EU tertiary students graduated in business and administration.

Three quarters also use the internet at least once a week, seemingly not a high figure, but it compares strongly with 47% for the whole population. In the Netherlands and Scandinavia it is 90% plus, and it is 47% or less in Bulgaria, Greece and Malta.

Reference: Eurostat; 24-25 March Youth Summit in Rome: Young Europeans Through Statistics; Brussels, 23.3.07, 44/2007

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