One stamp good for 24 E.U. countries

Marketplace Staff Dec 20, 2007

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: If you’re traveling to Europe, you’ve got the currency thing against you. But starting tomorrow, passport checks will be a lot easier. Under a new agreement, once you enter one of 24 E.U. countries, you won’t have to show your passport again when you cross into the others. Megan Williams has more.


Megan Williams: Foreign travellers, especially those who need a visa to enter the E.U., aren’t the only ones pleased with the deal. The faltering tourism industry is, too. In Europe, it’s only growing by about 4 percent, compared to a world growth rate of 5.6 percent.

The nine new countries added to the deal are mainly from Eastern Europe. E.U. expert Francis X. Rocca says while it’ll mean more Russian visitors for them, Western Europe isn’t as pleased.

Francis X. Rocca: What you’ve got here is potentially a conflict between politics and economics. On one hand, this could be very good for the tourism industry. On other hand, the people in Western Europe countries are not happy about the frontier with the poorer Eastern countries being moved farther east.

Next year, Switzerland will open its borders. That’ll leave England and Ireland as the only E.U. countries closed to the deal.

I’m Megan Williams for Marketplace.

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