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GREEK UNEMPLOYMENT SMASHES OLD RECORD SAY PEOPLE WITH JOBS
October 11 2012
Athens, Greece – It’s difficult to truly understand what the people of Greece have been going through the last few years. From a distance it’s really an abstract, a thing that’s going on which makes debate about the value of Greece and the right and wrong way to deal with things easy if ineffective.
For the people of the country, though, it is something else entirely. They are dealing with the realities of not having jobs and of losing all the equity they have built up their entire lives. For the people of Greece, who no doubt helped put themselves in this situation, there are no abstracts, just hard reality.
Now it appears that that hard reality has gotten even harder with the latest jobs report showing that the country has reached a record 25.1percent unemployment, a high for any country in Europe and really across the advanced nation. Amongst young people, between 15 and 24, that number is 54.2 percent, again a record. Those numbers were of course compiled and reported by people who do have jobs, ones that are as about a secure as they can be because jobs aren’t just going to miraculously start coming back.
“This is a very dramatic result of the recession,” said Angelos Tsakanikas of Greece's IOBE economic research foundation which is about as secure a job as one can have in the country.
Two years ago unemployment in the country stood at a little under 12 percent which is still very bad but not really very good at all.
Much of the high unemployment numbers are tied to austerity measures which have cut the deficit by firing people.
“Clearly this is an extraordinarily high number and completely explains why the people of Greece are upset and do all those riots. It’s really, really high and of course people have little to do so they go out and riot because otherwise they are just sitting around at home starving which is really boring after awhile,” said Scrape TV European analyst Gillian Weismann. “Of course rioting isn’t helping the situation any because while it will create jobs in the short term, the cost incurred by the government will make recovery take that much longer. I’m sure police are just fine with the riots because, well, that’s real job security but it’s an expense that really doesn’t need to be had and is just going to make this deficit reduction process that much longer.”
Critics have countered the austerity argument with the numbers, saying that the high percentage details stunted growth angry people.
“There is no clear solution to the problems in Greece and that is something that the people of Greece and of Europe are really just going to have to accept. It’s taken a long time to dig this hole and it’s going to take a long time to fill it back in. I guess the only question is whether or not it’s been worth the effort. Clearly 25 percent of the country feels it hasn’t been,” continued Weismann. “Of course they are all bitter and out of work and generally it’s much harder to listen to people who are out of work, especially when you go to work every day. I mean who are they to talk while you’re out there slaving away and they’re sitting at home eating roaches off the floor. It’s hard to listen to people like that.”
It’s not clear is roaches have actually stayed in the country.
Emil Uliya, International Correspondent