Pacific Stars And Stripes, May 20, 1997, Page 34

Pacific Stars And Stripes

May 20, 1997

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Issue date: Tuesday, May 20, 1997

Pages available: 35

Previous edition: Monday, May 19, 1997

Next edition: Wednesday, May 21, 1997

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Publication name: Pacific Stars And Stripes

Location: Tokyo, Japan

Pages available: 580,340

Years available: 1948 - 1999

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Pacific Stars And Stripes (Newspaper) - May 20, 1997, Tokyo, JapanPACIFIC STARS AMD STRIPES TUESDAY, MAY 20,1997 is The Associated Press' ~ - VfLVOORDE, Belgium -v Renault's sudden decision -to shut its car 'factory in this non- descript Brussels suburb and throw 3,100 people out of work sent a shock wave across Eu- rope. If a profitable' Belgian plant can be closed, is. any- body's job safe? I Germany, the economic loco- motive of Western Europe; is running out of steam and may even have trouble meeting the fiscal standards for participat- ing in > the European Union's single currency in two years, Italy, with one of the fattest economies on the continent, ; seems to be sliding out of the 15-naJion European Union alto- gether, victim of a runaway so- cial system that consumes mon- ey by the truckload. Make no mistake, life is still good. Fifty years of peace and cooperation have paid off. The wine is wonderful. Fashion^ flourishes. There is a car in ev- ery garage. Stores are richly stocked. The rpad and rail sys- tems are great, v Things 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 — and ranges as high as 21.6 percent in Spain, leaving many Europe- ans fearful for their security and well-being. v ^ Jobs are clearly the biggest concern across the continen|, but not the only one. Some folks worry that foreigners are flood- ing their countries, not only tak- ing scarce jobs but 'assaulting the culture and^ character of their hosts with strange cus- toms and religions. The largely crime-free streets of the past are no longer quite so safe, another phenome- non many people attribute to immigration, legal and illegal, from Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. That exacerbates xeno- phobia and fuels latent bigotry. "YeSj life is still good — for the moment," says; Jacques Barnier, 54, who works for Re- nault's truck division in Lyoni France. "But not for the young. When they can find work, they are being paid muchlower sal- aries." •:••••;.-• .•'.;." . ' ..''.•"•.;•••. •> If Mei should deal one of its little knocks, most Europeans .expect government to break their fall with generous unem- : ftfoyment payments, full health coverage,., housing allowances and child clffe.-That, of course, is the rub. More apd more gov- ernments a|re finding they can- not-affordvii n Unemployment has hit a. re- cord 12.8 percent in France. Conservative President Jacques Chirac says the only wa'y to get a handle on the economy is aus- terity and deep cuts in Benefits, a tough message to sell in legis- lative elections scheduled for May 25 and one the Socialists are hitting hard. Britain's Conservative gov- ernment pushed unemployment down to 64 percent and forged one of the more productive economies in Europe. Voters tossed them out anyway. The Labor Party's victory in Britain has inspired French So- cialists with the possibility of ousting Chirac's center-right coalition. In Britain, though, it was only after the Labor Party aban- doned much of its socialist thinking that it was reborn. Belgium Denmark Uneppioyment March's? Austria 4.4% 9.6 ' " 63 y.-. Finland 15.4 -^ France 125 Germany 9.7 !S==, Greece * Ireland 11.7| Italy ' Immigration 1994 44 o/0 95 a4 15.0 9.6 Luxembourg Netherlands Portugal %jain Sweden UK March '97 Feb. '97 • 3.6% 5.7 72 73 21.4 j21.7 10J9 103 73 7,4 EU/ofa/average 10.9 v10.9 USA 52 53 'figures not available Country pf destination Bel. - Den. Fin. FR. Country of origin Former Baltic Jv- Poland Romania USSR States Morocco Algeria Tunisia 793 437 39 685 493 847 4 * 4,76ft/ 567 x 324 149^ 522 v 397 ^is4_ _39 . 39 * 31 2,140,1 J,4q3 ^' 69'i>il, - - T-t.-?i,Au,__1.-J-,Mand newspapers and broadcast outlets throughout" Texas are among^ those that have "featured the Hansens the past few weeks. Darcy said being a quadru- plet hasn't always been easy. ""A lot of people ..^ like to come up now wtiile you're on a date at dinner and talk to you for;^0 minutes," she said. "I don't think that'll happen to us in our respective countrie's." Her sister Claire is looking forward to some anonymity. "I'm really excited about be- ing in a whole new climate, where nobody knows that I'm a quad/'

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