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EU's jobs plan tallies with ours, says Cowen

TAOISEACH Brian Cowen said yesterday that Europe's new jobs plan would be similar to the Irish Government's own proposals for employment.

The EU will be focusing on job-creation based on innovation and technology and the green sector.

"Anything that helps promote a strategy that we are in agreement with, I am all in favour of," said Mr Cowen, who was attending an economic summit of EU leaders.

A presentation by European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso showed Ireland sixth on the league table of unemployment across the 27 countries.

Competitive

Unemployment across the union is now at 23 million, which represents a rise of seven million in the past 20 months.

It is expected to reach 10.3pc this year -- back to 1990s levels. Youth unemployment in the EU stands at more than 21pc.

The Taoiseach said the economic crisis had wiped out much of the progress made over the previous decade.

Across Europe, GDP growth was down 4pc in 2009 -- the worst fall since the 1930s.

Mr Cowen said Europe was part of the wider global economy and Ireland was part of Europe, so it made sense to work together.

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He added that Ireland needed to develop more expertise in areas where we could gain a competitive advantage.


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