Looking for a few good euros (With Edits shown)

Folks: John Travis was kind enough to allow me to post this solid item he wrote with my edits shown to prompt discussion about the tone/voice we're trying to achieve. My changes are shown in strikeout ; I'm interested to hear discussion in the comments section if anyone has any thoughts. My feeling was that naming the particular wire service that alerted us of the government report slowed down the item a little and I trimmed the pull quote we used to make it a bit more punchy. -- eli

The Italian news agency ANSA reports that this week tT   The Italian National Institute of Statistics has confirmed the country's relatively meager commitment to science, one that regularly leads researchers there to strike for better pay, working conditions and research funds. ANSA notes that fFor Italy in 2005:

In 2005, the last year for which figures were available,
Public and private research spending amounted to 1.09% of GDP
compared to 3.80% in Sweden, 3.48% in Finland, 2.48% in
Germany, 2.45% in Denmark...

Of the other top 15 EU economies only Greece, Spain and Portugal had a research spending/GDP ratio of less than 1.2%.

Italy's stinginess has had an impact outside its borders, as its recent desire to limit contributions to the European Space Agency is complicating ESA budget deliberations that will culminate next week in the Hague.