Tag Archives: Greece unemployed

How Greece could go from solidarity to division

Solidarity is probably a word that you would not associate with Greece following the events of the past few days. Love and understanding were in short supply on the streets around Parliament, where protesters and police clashed this week, as well as within the walls of the prominent sand-colored building, where Greece’s politicians failed to strike a deal to form a government of national unity to oversee the latest austerity measures the country has to adopt to qualify for more loans from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

However, solidarity is a very relevant word in terms of Greece’s plight 13 months after the EU and the IMF agreed to bail it out with 110 billion euros ($157 billion) in loans. Firstly, it’s a word that’s on people’s minds because the government said it is introducing a “solidarity tax” that will lead to crisis-fatigued Greeks having between 1 percent and 4 percent of their incomes kept aside to help pay benefits for the rapidly growing number of unemployed.

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Greece’s invisible jobless

There are many visible signs in Greece that the economic crisis has taken hold of the country; dozens of shops are closed in every neighbourhood and fewer cars are on the road. But unemployment, one of the most serious consequences of the three-year recession and mounting debt crisis, is almost impossible to detect.

Despite the appearance of business as usual, Greece has just announced the worst unemployment figures since joining the euro. The jobless rate in March reached 16.2 per cent, which means some 230,000 people were sacked over the previous year. Unemployment soars almost 7 percentage points above the European Union average. Only Latvia, Lithuania and Spain show more depressing figures.

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