Europe's dream of overtaking US turns to fantasy


"Europe's drive to overtake the US economy by 2010 is in trouble, the European Commission admitted yesterday, in a report that showed the EU has lost ground in key areas since it launched reforms.

"The document is a 'wake-up call' to European governments, according to EU officials, and will be an embarrassment to Tony Blair, who helped initiate plans to revitalise the economy at a summit in Lisbon four years ago. Mr Blair sees the reform agenda as a vital part of the battle to convince the public that the 12-nation eurozone is an economic success.

"Instead low productivity, sluggish investment, the slow pace of reform and deteriorating public finances were seen as the cause of the continuing gap with the US, according to the report."


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