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The chart gives information about the percentage of unemployed Irish citizens and the number of emigrants leaving the country from 1988 to 2008.

Overall, there was a significant decline in the unemployment rate in Ireland, and in addition to this, the number of those leaving the country also reduced over the examined period.

Regarding Ireland’s rate of unemployment, after a mild decrease from roughly 17% in 1988 to 13% in 1990, it experienced a slight recovery to about 15% over the following two years. The figure then plummeted to 4% in 2000, followed by a six-year period of stability. However, the unemployment rate of Ireland increased to nearly 6% in the final year.

Starting with approximately 60,000 emigrants in 1988, this number fell to about 55,000 in 1990 before plunging to over 32,000 two years later. The number of Ireland’s emigrants continued to go down to around 27,000 over the next 12 years, and suddenly surged back up to 50,000 in 2008.

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It is believed that traffic and pollution issues would be best tackled by inflating the price of petroleum. In my opinion, this idea is completely flawed and there are several reasonable alternatives.

Clearly the price of fuel has little to do with pressing problems of traffic and pollution. The inevitable demand for time efficience and safe commuting in the modern world makes the change of fuel prices become rather insignificant, which proves the ineffectiveness of the suggested policy. In other words, even if the price were increased, people would still travel by their preferred form of transport on a daily basis and the problems of traffic and pollution would remain. Additionally, this solution could easily trigger social disagreement and resentment. This, coupled with the reluctance of using expensive fuel to travel every day, could be counter-productive and this proposed idea would become irrelevant.

On the other hand, alternatives to increasing the price of petrol show greater effectiveness. Firstly, governments could implement certain regulations restricting the use of private vehicles such as cars and turn people to using public transportation. This would relieve many roads from heavy traffic congestion by reducing the number of vehicles on the road, which in turn alleviates the problem of pollution caused by exhaust emissions. Secondly, in many cities around the world, cycling has proved to be an effective, environmentally friendly form of alternative transport and should be encouraged more in other major cities. Certain infrastructure, such as separate zones for cyclists, should be created to help avoid the overload of traffic during rush hour when the number of vehicles can exceed the road’s capacity.

In conclusion, I believe that heightening the price of fuel used for travelling to address traffic and pollution problems is somewhat absurd; and that there is a number of other more suitable and effective solutions.

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