- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 30, 2002

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world:

Il Sole 24 Ore

Europe's labor laws

MILAN, Italy The whole of Europe and above all Italy needs to rework labor laws and institutions so that they reflect the labor market's current state, rather than the outdated idea of the full-time worker with a permanent contract.

A permanent job will remain the aspiration of those who want a secure working life, but for more and more people it is no longer the reality.

Employee autonomy both in terms of job specification and the length of the period of employment is increasing. Contributing to this situation are rapid technological changes and the demands by consumers who seek more customized products and services.

Consumer and workers are the same people they want change and must adapt to it.

If Italy wants to strengthen the position of workers, rather than concentrate on defending their jobs, money needs to be spent on reforming the welfare system.

Professional qualifications need to be linked to the needs of the job market and people need to be continuously retrained.

Italy needs to reach the employment targets the European Union has set for all its member states only this will temper the flexible job market's side effects of insecurity and precariousness.

Straits Times

Instead of foreign aid

SINGAPORE Poor countries will benefit more from putting in place policies to attract foreign investments than they will from any amount of foreign aid. And developed countries can do more for developing countries by dismantling the protectionist barriers they have erected against Third World exports, especially in agriculture, than they can by periodically doling out charity to the world's poor.

Sueddeutsche Zeitung

Bush in Latin America

MUNICH President Bush went on his first journey to the south of the continent with his hands almost empty.

The Peruvians are to get $195 million for the fight against drug trafficking and to strengthen democracy, but Peru's President Alejandro Toledo doubtless hoped for more. …

Mr. Toledo like all his Latin American colleagues needs above all an open U.S. market if he is to keep his big election promise of creating a million jobs.

Peruvians are already showing their impatience through demonstrations and strikes.

Mr. Bush did tell Mr. Toledo and the other presidents of the Andean countries that he would push for preferential tariffs for various products from their region in the future … but he could not make a firm promise. The U.S. Congress still has the final word. …

The Central Americans also had expected more of Mr. Bush. …

London Daily Telegraph

The EU satellite system

LONDON At a time when the West is meant to be pulling together against terrorism, many EU leaders still seem to regard the United States as their chief rival. How else are we to explain their determination to launch a satellite program in competition with America? … At the moment, the whole world can tune in to satellite data courtesy of the United States, whose Global Positioning System (GPS) uses open frequencies. … Let us be clear about this.

At a time when most European states are struggling to cut spending, the EU is about to invest in a satellite system that will give it no added value whatever. … To Europe's true believers, however, the money is irrelevant. The point of Galileo, as they see it, is to challenge Uncle Sam's dominance in space. As President [Jacques] Chirac of France has put it, Europe will be doomed to "vassal status" unless it has an independent satellite network of its own. This is by no means the first time that the EU has insisted on reinventing the wheel when there is a cheaper and better American version on offer. …

In their own terms, Euro federalists are perfectly entitled to extend this logic to space. What is harder to understand is why the British government, notionally committed to the Atlantic alliance, is going along with such nonsense.

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