The other day I was chatting with a friend in France who told me how France has changed in the last couple of years. He specifically mentioned how the home computer had taken hold in a country that had once viewed them as a luxury that the majority could ill-afford. But now he said that that just like the U.S, most middle-class households have several.
All of which brings me to somewhere we don't often talk about, namely Bulgaria. Because according to an article I stumbled on from the Sofia Echo (never let it be said I don't go out of my way to find stories for this Blog!), take-up of PC ownership has yet to take off in Bulgaria.
As it turns out, Bulgaria has the lowest number of computers in the workplace out of all EU countries. And it's a safe assumption that the number of PCs in homes isn't much more impressive.
In fact the Bitkom company recently did a study on the number of computers in the European Union for 2007. Bulgaria was at the bottom of the list with 20% of the population uses computers. This was a far cry from Finland, which was at 71% (which also seemed low to me).
But c'mon – 20%! Computers are an essential item in the modern workplace. To that end, it's shocking and unacceptable that such a common workplace tool in most of the developed world is still inaccessible to business in a member state of the EU.
If the folks in Brussels want to see increased productivity in even the non-economic powerhouses, then it looks like more attention is needed in areas such as this. A 20% computer rate is simply abysmal and while it is not directly related to a country's economy, it's hard to image Bulgaria improving in the near future when it's about as advanced a Dilbert's Elbonia.