Friday, April 13, 2012
NightWatch 20120412 - KGS
Greece: The jobless rate rose to a record of 21.8 percent in January, twice as high as the euro zone average, statistics service ELSTAT announced on Thursday. For the second consecutive month, those aged between 15-24 years were hit hard. Unemployment in that age group stood at 50.8 percent, twice as high as three years ago.
Youth unemployment remained at levels where more are jobless than in work.
Budget cuts imposed by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund as a condition for saving the debt-laden country from a chaotic default have caused a wave of corporate closures and bankruptcies.
A record 1.08 million people were without work in January, 47 percent more than in the same month last year, according to ELSTAT figures. The number in work dropped 8.6 percent to a record low of 3.88 million.
As an increasing number of people claim unemployment benefits, the government is finding it increasingly difficult to meet its budget targets.
Comment: The youth unemployment rate is at the level when the youth begin to engage in self-help practices, such as crime and looting. This situation looks volatile, waiting for a spark.