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According to the latest available figures from Eurostat the pay differential between women and men in the EU and Norway reduced slightly in 2010. The average gap over the entire Community fell by 0.5% but this was not uniform among Member States. In fact several countries recorded a widening of the gap, by as much as 4.4% in Romania. At the other end of the scale, in Poland, women earned on average 5.3% less than men in 2010, down from 9.8% the year before, the second best figure in the EU. Preliminary statistics for 2011 indicate that the general closing of the gap continued. There were also collective agreements in Norway and Austria which included provisions designed to narrow it further such as a special gender equality wage pot and allowing periods of child care leave to count towards seniority and grading.
Depression continues in EU, deepens in Greece, Italy, Portugal
The latest figures from Eurostat show that the economy in the European Union continues to decline although there are large variations between Member States. GDP in Greece shrank by a truly horrific 6.2% between the second quarter of 2011 and the same period this year while Portugal, Italy, Cyprus and Slovenia all lost more than 2%. By contrast the Baltic states, which were the first to be hit by the slump, are now growing at between 2.5 and 4.2%. Overall both the euro area countries and the EU as a whole recorded small falls in Gross Domestic Product.