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Europe-wide emergency number is go

112 for gendarmerie, guardia civil, policií

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The last country in Europe, Bulgaria, has now signed up to the universal emergency number 112.

All 27 countries in the European Union now share the same number, although existing services, like 999 in the UK, will not change.

Viviane Reding, the EU Telecoms Commissioner said: “There is still work to be done by the EU Member States, but the first target of having a single emergency number has been achieved. I am very glad that our efforts to make sure Member States get the common emergency number in place have paid off, because now we can see how the Europe of results can help people in everyday life.”

Romania and Bulgaria were the last nations to comply after the Commission started infringement procedures. In September this year Romania was given an extra three months to sort out caller location - so authorities could trace where any call made to 112 came from even if from a mobile phone. Bulgaria has also caught up and the Commission expects to end proceedings against it in early 2009.

17 countries can also deal with calls in other European countries.

The number was introduced in 1991. Full statement is here. ®

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