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The deadline for chemicals companies to submit registration applications for the substances that they use was reached on December 1st and the European Chemicals Agency has received over 20,000 dossiers. The leading country for submissions was Germany, reflecting its large chemical manufacturing industry, the UK and the Netherlands were second and third. Nearly 400 substances were identified as Carcinogenic, Mutagenic or Reprotoxic (CMR) and more than 150 as toxic to aquatic organisms. Only 27 of these have been placed on the Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern so far.
Guinea-pig Greeks fearful of tomorrow
Greece was the first of the countries using the euro currency to suffer the public sector cuts, weakening of labour rights and increased taxation demanded in return for an EU-IMF financial bailout but even before this there was ‘stark pessimism’ among Greek workers, according to two surveys conducted last year. The research, by V-Project Research Consulting, showed that, even between February and May, the personal economic situation of the working-age population had worsened and the sense of insecurity had been heightened. By May fully 32% felt themselves to be ‘very much at risk of poverty’. Long-term unemployment remains a major problem with the average time without a job standing at 19 months according to official figures. There is a comparatively high proportion of people classified as ‘economically dependent’, that is self-employed but with only one customer, while collective agreements are still very important in maintaining wage levels. 71% of those surveyed said that their pay was specified in this way. Average salaries in the public sector were about €350 per month higher than in private industry.
The economic outlook remained bleak with over half the respondents feeling that their situation would ‘deteriorate a lot’ in the next twelve months and most predicting that at least ten years would elapse before Greece came through the crisis.
‘In the last year, your personal economic situation … ‘February (left) and May (right) 2010