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Europe's future: Can anything perk up Europe? | The Economist
The single market remains half-built. The EU is 30% less productive than America in services. Because European services companies operate behind national barriers they innovate less and they tend not to gain the full economies of scale. Whole areas, such as health care, are exempted from EU-wide competition. Likewise some high-tech industries, such as telecoms, have been protected and others, such as e-commerce, barely existed in 1992. A single digital market could be worth 4% of EU GDP by 2020. The EU has a costly, fragmented patent system, so products (like far too many workers) cannot cross borders easily; energy supply has not been properly liberalised; debts are hard to collect across borders. And so it goes on. National to-do lists are just as long. In Spain and Italy privileged workers are protected, discouraging new permanent jobs. German entrepreneurs are immediately taxed on equity they put into a start-up. Europeans retire too early everywhere.
europe  free-market  germany  protectionism  startup  outlook  politics  EMU  2010  2011  2012  problem  problems 
july 2010 by asterisk2a

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