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Ireland back in recession despite being lauded as example of how austerity can work

DUBLIN - Figures show Ireland has fallen back into recession, dealing a blow to those who have cited the country as an example of how austerity can work. Thursday's report from Ireland's Central Statistics Office showed the country's annual gross domestic product fell 0.6 per cent in the first three months of the year from the previous quarter.

Riots put Sweden's open-door immigration policy in spotlight

By Alistair Scrutton and Simon Johnson STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden's worst riots in years might benefit a far-right party in elections next year if scenes of immigrants burning cars and smashing up buildings cause voters to rethink their traditional welcome to foreigners. Even before the week of riots in the poorer neighborhoods of Stockholm, immigration had become a hot political issue, as the number of asylum seekers reached record levels.

Iceland grapples with tourist influx

In Iceland's Thingvellir national park, a wooden bridge covers a crack in the paved road leading to the site where the world's oldest parliament was founded in 930. But the bridge is considerably younger, only dating back to last summer. It was built after a few hundred metres (yards) of tarmac road almost collapsed, buckling under a steadily growing stream of visitors.

Golf: Dawson pushing for McIlroy to play for Ireland

Two-time Major winner Rory McIlroy should be allowed to represent Ireland at the 2016 Olympics and not have to make his own mind up about who he plays for, Peter Dawson, CEO of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R & A) said. Dawson, who played a key role in golf regaining its' place at the Olympics when it was voted back in four years ago, said it was unfair placing the pressure on the 23-year-old Northern ireland-born golfer to make up his mind.

Norway's ruling party backs oil drilling around Arctic islands

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway took a major step towards opening up an environmentally sensitive Arctic area to oil and gas exploration when the ruling Labour Party gave the go-ahead on Sunday for an impact study. Exploration in the waters around the Lofoten islands just above the Arctic circle is becoming one of the most contentious issues for parliamentary elections in September.

Estonian-Russian border agreement is in "high state of completion"

Russian Federation Council foreign committee chairman Mikhail Margelov told Postimees on Wednesday after the meeting with Estonian Riigikogu foreign committee delegation that the Estonian-Russian border agreement is in "high state of completion".At the meeting between the Riigikogu committee and Federation Council foreign committee delegations, the sides confirmed the need to reach unanimity in the border agreement issue.By now, two rounds of Estonia-Russian talks have taken place at the level of delegations of foreign ministries and the time of the third meeting should be de

Estonian Air to lay off 19 pilots

Estonia-based airline, national carrier Estonian Air plans to lay off 19 pilots, Estonian news portal Postimees.ee reported.The move was necessary due to the decreasing number of flight capacity and a number of planes.Estonian Air Press Secretary Ilona Eskelinen stated that since January the company needs less pilots to service its flight schedule, which provides less airplanes.As Postimees writes referring to the pilots' comments, the pilots will most likely go abroad to find employment.Based on length of employment, the pilots were notified of upcoming redunda

Estonians supplied Finnish bike gang with drugs

The Finnish and Estonian central criminal police are completing an investigation of a major ring of drugs and weapons, in the centre of which there is a group mainly consisting of Estonians, that is suspected of smuggling drugs from Central Europe to Finland, Postimees Online reports.Altogether 36 persons are suspected of different crimes, Estonian State Prosecutor's Office said.The recipients of the drugs were motorbike clubs associated in Finland with organised crime, like Cannonball MC and Bandidos MC.The Finnish and Estonian investigation focuses on eight cases of

Latvia records EU's fourth lowest labor costs in 2012

Average hourly labor costs amounted to six euros in Latvia in 2012, the fourth lowest figure in the European Union, according to the latest data from the EU's statistical office "Eurostat".The lowest average hourly labor costs in 2012 were registered in Bulgaria - 3.7 euros, Romania - 4.4 euros, and Lithuania - 5.8 euros.

Number of tourists staying in Estonian hotels grows

According to Statistics Estonia, in February 2013, 160,000 domestic and foreign tourists stayed in the accommodation establishments of Estonia, which was 5% more than in February 2012. The number of domestic tourists as well as foreign tourists increased.In February, 91,000 foreign tourists used the services of accommodation establishments, which was 6,000 tourists (7%) more than in same period a year ago. Most of the foreign tourists (87%) stayed in the accommodation establishments of Tallinn, Tartu and Pärnu.
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