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The European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) has published an interactive map, or infographic, which shows the number of days not worked due to industrial action in all EU Member States and candidates plus Switzerland and Norway since 1991. By comparing developments with the period 2001-2010 the effect of the financial meltdown and subsequent depression can be seen. Although the rise in unemployment is discounted in the figures, which are per 1,000 employees, they still show a large decrease in nearly all countries, the major exception being France. The infographic also contains details on systems of bargaining, the law on strikes and unemployment levels in each country. It can be found on the web at: http://www.etui.org/Topics/Trade-union-renewal-and-mobilisation/Strikes-in-Europe-infographic.
‘Does wealth bring happiness?’ asks Eurofound
The third European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) has been published by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound). As before the survey asks unusual questions such as ‘How satisfied are you with family life?’ and ‘Would you say that most people can be trusted?’. However the most intriguing answers are those about happiness in view of the economic slump and its differing effects on countries. Perhaps not surprisingly happiness has taken a hit in Greece, the worst affected Member State, but Germans also seem less happy than in 2003 and 2007 despite their economic success. The figures for both Austria and Portugal show a rise despite their varied fortunes. Overall the survey records a convergence in the levels of happiness expressed by people across the whole EU.