NEWS

Struggle to match EU work rates

There is a massive disparity in economic development between areas of the country, while western Greece was the least productive region in the EU before the bloc’s expansion to 25 member states last year, according to statistics published yesterday. The figures, released by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical service, show that in 2002 western Greece achieved a level of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita that was just 58.4 percent of the EU average. Eastern Macedonia and Thrace ranked next with 59.2 percent. The lowest ranked, out of the current EU members, was the region of Lubelskie in Poland, whose GDP per capita lagged at 32 percent of the bloc’s average. The areas of Greece which boasted most production and spending on each citizen within their boundaries were the southern Aegean (91.5 percent) and Attica (82.4 percent). The highest ranking region in the EU was Inner London, with a GDP per capita of 315 percent of the EU average. Greece’s overall average was 77.7 percent, giving it a ranking of 14th among EU member states, just above Portugal and below Cyprus.