Two quick points related to Europe today:
1) Last week there was the announcement that Malta and Cyprus will join the eurozone (i.e. use the Euro as legal tender) from January 1st 2008. This will bring the number of countries to 15 that will be using the common currency.
2) And in other European news, the Belfast Telegraph is reporting on a European Commission survey (sorry no direct link found), that states that the difference in the gender pay gap in Ireland is much lower that that of the EU average. 2005‘s figures show that Irish women earn on average 9% less than their male counterparts, which is a huge improvement from the recorded difference of 20% in 1995.
The current EU average for the gender pay gap is 15% , with Estonia and Cyprus having the largest gap of 25%. The EC cited the “glass ceiling” effect that prevents women from getting top well paying jobs, as well as the fact that more women tend to end up in lower skilled jobs and take on more family related responsibilities. The shift to equal levels of pay for men and women is getting better, but there is still a bit more to do !