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Incomes in Ireland, Baltics, hardest hit by crisis, EU data shows
Published in Saudi Press Agency on 21 - 06 - 2010

The economic crisis which has gripped the
European Union in the last two years has taken the heaviest toll on
the incomes of people living in Ireland and the Baltic counties, dpa quoted data
released today as showing.
The EU's statistical agency, Eurostat, published the gross
domestic product (GDP) per inhabitant in purchasing power standard
(PPS), an index showing how relatively well off people are in each of
the bloc's 27 member states.
The 2009 data showed that Ireland's pro-capita GDP fell to 131 per
cent of the EU's average, as compared to 148 per cent in 2007. The
result still left it the EU's second richest country, with Luxembourg
in the lead with a 268-per-cent score.
Over the same period Estonia, due to join the euro on January 1,
2011, saw its score fall from 69 to 62 per cent. In Lithuania it
dropped from 59 to 53 per cent, in Latvia from 56 to 49 per cent.
On the other end of the scale, Poland jumped from 54 to 61 per
cent of the EU average. The country was the only one in the EU to
escape recession in 2009.
Relative incomes held more or less steady in the rest of the bloc,
including in countries such as Hungary and Romania, which, like
Latvia, received bailout funds from the EU and the International
Monetary Fund (IMF).
Greece, which earlier this year was saved from default by a
massive 110-billion-euro (136-billon-dollar) EU and IMF rescue fund,
was said to have advanced from 93 to 95 per cent, but Eurostat said
it could not certify the data.
The agency indicated that 14 countries - Cyprus, Greece, Slovenia,
Czech Republic, Malta, Portugal, Slovakia, Hungary, Estonia, Poland,
Lithuania, Latvia, Romania and Bulgaria - are below the EU average.
That also holds for EU applicants, with Croatia, Turkey and
Macedonia scoring respectively 64 per cent, 46 per cent and 35 per
Iceland, which last week won permission from EU leaders to start
accession talks, proved to be an exception, reaching 120 per cent of
the EU's average GDP pro-capita.

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