Traveling in, around or through the European Union‘s 28 nations is not like traveling around the 50 United States. Different countries have different rules, systems and procedures in place.
But what if it was?
Looking to streamline the process, the European Commission is working on a system to make travel across the continent easier.
One of the intended points of having a European Union was to allow more freedom of movement of people, goods and services. While the euro zone monetary union has helped standardize forms of payment, plans to develop a model for a pan-European information and booking system could standardize the procedure for booking various modes of transport including air and rail.
“To make the best use of all existing transport modes and infrastructure, we need to ensure the availability, accessibility and exchange of all relevant information, such as schedules, capacity and paths,” said Siim Kallas, Vice President of the European Commission in charge of transport, in a Travel Mole report.
Think that sounds like a good idea? Not everyone agrees, as we see in this video:
Greece has long been one of the black sheep members of the European Union – it has always relied on huge farming subsidies as its fellow nations worried about the stability of the Greek economy.
This year, those stability worries became justified when their economy collapsed. A combination of poor financial decisions and the global economic meltdown forced the Greek government to turn to its fellow countries for a bailout.
Now the European Union has finally decided to bail the Greek out, sentiment about the scope of the bailout has left Europeans mighty annoyed with the Greek. So annoyed in fact, that many of them have decided to book their vacation elsewhere – removing one of the largest sources of Greek income.
German airline Air Berlin has described the drops as “massive”, but did not have any firm numbers to report on. Germany and the UK account for about 5 million tourists each year – a third of the 15 million that visit Greece each year. In 2009, tourism had already dropped 8%, so a continuing drop may prove to be a national disaster for Greece – especially since they’ll need to dig themselves out of their $400 billion debt pile sooner or later.