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Pacific Stars And Stripes (Newspaper) - May 20, 1997, Tokyo, Japan PACIFIC STARS AMD STRIPES TUESDAY, MAY 20,1997 isThe Associated Press' ~ -VfLVOORDE, Belgium -v Renault's sudden decision -toshut its car 'factory in this non-descript Brussels suburb andthrow 3,100 people out of worksent a shock wave across Eu-rope. If a profitable' Belgianplant can be closed, is. any-body's job safe?I Germany, the economic loco-motive of Western Europe; isrunning out of steam and mayeven have trouble meeting thefiscal standards for participat-ing in > the European Union'ssingle currency in two years,Italy, with one of the fattesteconomies on the continent,; seems to be sliding out of the15-naJion European Union alto-gether, victim of a runaway so-cial system that consumes mon-ey by the truckload.Make no mistake, life is stillgood. Fifty years of peace andcooperation have paid off. Thewine is wonderful. Fashion^flourishes. There is a car in ev-ery garage. Stores are richlystocked. The rpad and rail sys-tems are great, vThings have never been bet-ter -1- if you have a job. " \Unemployment in the EU av-erages 10.8 percent — moce -than double the U.S. rate — andranges as high as 21.6 percentin Spain, leaving many Europe-ans fearful for their securityand well-being. v ^Jobs are clearly the biggestconcern across the continen|,but not the only one. Some folksworry that foreigners are flood-ing their countries, not only tak-ing scarce jobs but 'assaultingthe culture and^ character oftheir hosts with strange cus-toms and religions.The largely crime-freestreets of the past are no longerquite so safe, another phenome-non many people attribute toimmigration, legal and illegal,from Africa, Asia and EasternEurope. That exacerbates xeno-phobia and fuels latent bigotry."YeSj life is still good — forthe moment," says; JacquesBarnier, 54, who works for Re-nault's truck division in LyoniFrance. "But not for the young.When they can find work, theyare being paid muchlower sal-aries." •:••••;.-• .•'.;." . ' ..''.•"•.;•••. •>If Mei should deal one of itslittle knocks, most Europeans.expect government to breaktheir fall with generous unem- :ftfoyment payments, full healthcoverage,., housing allowancesand child clffe.-That, of course,is the rub. More apd more gov-ernments a|re finding they can-not-affordvii nUnemployment has hit a. re-cord 12.8 percent in France.Conservative President JacquesChirac says the only wa'y to geta handle on the economy is aus-terity and deep cuts in Benefits,a tough message to sell in legis-lative elections scheduled forMay 25 and one the Socialistsare hitting hard.Britain's Conservative gov-ernment pushed unemploymentdown to 64 percent and forgedone of the more productiveeconomies in Europe. Voterstossed them out anyway.The Labor Party's victory inBritain has inspired French So-cialists with the possibility ofousting Chirac's center-rightcoalition.In Britain, though, it was onlyafter the Labor Party aban-doned much of its socialistthinking that it was reborn.BelgiumDenmarkUneppioyment March's?Austria 4.4%9.6 ' "63y.-. Finland 15.4 -^France 125Germany 9.7!S==, Greece *Ireland 11.7|Italy 'Immigration 199444 o/095a415.09.6LuxembourgNetherlandsPortugal%jainSwedenUKMarch '97 Feb. '97• 3.6%5.772 7321.4 j21.710J9 10373 7,4EU/ofa/average 10.9 v10.9USA 52 53'figures not availableCountry pfdestinationBel. -Den.Fin.FR.Country of origin Former Baltic Jv-Poland Romania USSR States Morocco Algeria Tunisia79343739685493 847 4 * 4,76ft/ 567 x 324149^ 522 v 397 ^is4_ _39 . 39* 31 2,140,1 J,4q3 ^' 69'i>il, - -.!** 745 -? 'j& Jjffi^^XjMP 2.2S9Spain 110 !-**«?, *s~H&f'?*'•• vx~ 1§"v_ ,j>T-t.-?i,Au,__1.-J-, Mand newspapers andbroadcast outlets throughout"Texas are among^ those thathave "featured the Hansens thepast few weeks.Darcy said being a quadru-plet hasn't always been easy.""A lot of people ..^ like tocome up now wtiile you're on adate at dinner and talk to youfor;^0 minutes," she said. "Idon't think that'll happen to usin our respective countrie's."Her sister Claire is lookingforward to some anonymity."I'm really excited about be-ing in a whole new climate,where nobody knows that I'm aquad/'
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