Monday, January 02, 2006

Poor old Österreich

They do not do much for the self-confidence of the European Union, but the Google figures on various EU-related stories in the news are highly instructive.

In a very thin field – as you would expect at the back-end of New Year's day - the key issue is easily the Ukraine gas crisis, with 1.372 stories listed. The specific EU dimension now is that the disruption has spread to Hungary and Poland, after Russian cut off supplies to the Ukraine yesterday. However, exports to the EU are carried through the same pipes, and Gazprom now says Kiev is stealing some of that gas.

But, if that is the main story, and one that you would expect to get a fair bit of coverage, the take-over by Austria of the EU presidency might also be considered newsworthy. But, it appears, all Google can manage is a mere 59 stories, headed by the IHT which reports: "from Austria: new thoughts on the EU". From the number of stories though, it would appear that no one is very interested in what Austria thinks. Poor old Österreich.

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