Commendation for "heroic" Irish economy
Wednesday, 10 March 2004

Ireland's implementation of the economic goals prescribed at the Lisbon EU summit in 2000 has been highly praised by the Centre for European Reform (CER). However a new report from that body was critical of the extent of Irish poverty, despite our ongoing job creation and "rapid productivity growth in recent years". In the fourth so-called "Lisbon scorecard", which assesses the speed of reform in EU member states, Ireland was given a "hero" ranking, along with Sweden, in recognition of our progress in closing the economic gap with the US. It said this country "now has the highest productivity level (measured as output per hour worked) in the EU" and that our "education and employment policies offer a good example to other member states, particularly to accession countries that are keen to catch up with west European income levels". In addition to its remarks on our uneven distribution of wealth, however, the report also noted that we "cannot yet match the Nordic countries" in terms of innovation. Italy was singled out for special criticism as a "villain", while France and Germany were classed as "laggards", with the EU's overall progress deemed to be only "mediocre". More detail: http://www.cer.org.uk




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