IN "THE EU: Choking off its new blood" (International Business, Mar. 15), John Rossant refers to "all those youthful, well-trained Czechs, Poles, and Latvians" who will turbocharge Western Europe. Is he kidding? Eastern Europe has a much worse aging problem than Western Europe. If all the youth of these countries migrate to Western Europe, you will have a wasteland left in Eastern Europe. The bigger problem to be considered is how Western Europe will take care of the demographic time bomb of Eastern Europe, which will soon couple with their own. The only country with a youthful population, Turkey, does not seem very welcome in the EU at present!
MANY EUROPEAN countries, mainly France, Sweden, and Britain, are already struggling with providing good health care and proper transportation for their own citizens. For example, due to socialized health care, the quality of service is very bad. What government would like to take responsibility for even worse health care with more immigrants? Also, most of the current EU countries have a generous welfare system. It is scary for any sitting government to imagine a flood of immigrants living off the taxpayers.
Meanwhile, a big influx of workers could easily cripple both public transport and roads in southern England, where most of the jobs in Britain are created. One must look deeper into current problems that are facing these countries and not think of them as closed, narrow-minded entities.
London BO XILAI'S credentials should certainly make him a great communicator and, if there were Western-type elections, he would get a major share of the women's vote, thanks to his grooming and apparent charisma ("A princeling who could be Premier," International Business, Mar. 15). With China's historic leaning toward graybeards as their leaders, perhaps you should feature Bo Xilai in another 10 years!
Pretoria, South Africa I APPRECIATED "Designer cars" (Cover Story, Feb. 16), and I'm not surprised that criticism of it comes from outside Europe (Readers Report, Mar. 8). As a design management consultant based in Milan, I would like to point out that in Europe, the smartest or the least-polluting car would be a fiasco on the market without style. An example: In the past two years, Mazda Motor Corp. (owned by Ford Motor Co. (F)) had a triple-digit percentage increase in its European sales by mixing technological innovation with sleek style covering the whole range of its cars.
Jacopo F. Bargellini