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Did you know...

  • ... that in 2004 the French constructed the world's tallest bridge? The Millau Viaduct's roadway is almost four times the height of the roadway on the Golden Gate Bridge, and at 343 metres, its highest tower is slightly taller than the Eiffel Tower and only 38m shorter than the Empire State Building.
  • ... that the European Union is the world's largest donor of official development assistance (ODA)? Collectively, the EU provides more than half (54% in 2003) of worldwide official development assistance. On average, the Member States of the EU devoted 0.34% of their GNI to ODA in 2003, compared with 0.15% for the US and 0.20% for Japan. Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Sweden made the largest effort in terms of development aid, with around 0.8% of their GNI devoted to ODA. As regards the target regions, Sub-Saharan Africa has consistently accounted for just under half the total ODA.
  • ... that approximately 80% of all passengers and 50% of all transported goods within the European Union travel by road? This places enormous pressure on the road network, with congestion and air pollution commonplace, especially in urban areas and at some key transport axes.
  • ... that Slovenia is home to the third tallest chimney in the world, the tallest in Europe? The Trbovlje Chimney at the Trbovlje coal power plant, built in 1976, is 360m (1,200 ft) high. It took 210 days to construct and required 11,866m³ of concrete and 1,079 tonnes of reinforcing steel. A high chimney was necessary for the site to ensure that emissions were removed from the deep, narrow valley under all weather conditions.
  • ... that in Malta, the margin between the two main political parties at elections, which usually generate high voter turnout, exceeding 96%, is so narrow that a 52% share of the vote can still be considered a "landslide" for the winning party?
  • ... that France has the highest fertility among the EU states? On average, a French woman during her lifetime gives birth to 1.94 children. In comparison, the countries with the lowest fertility among EU members are Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia, with around 1.25 children born per woman. The average fertility rate in EU has declined from a level above 2.5 in the early 1960s to about 1.5 in 1995, where it has remained. In comparison, in the more developed parts of the world today, a total fertility rate of 2.1 children per woman is considered to be the replacement level, in other words, the level at which a population would remain stable in the long run if there were no inward or outward migration.


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Date: 28.12.2007