sábado, 26 de outubro de 2013


It is well known that especially these years of economic crisis are being the most difficult for Greece. And this situation is not going to finish in the nearest term. It needs time and effective decisions of Greece government and the European Union Commission (including all countries) help . One of the biggest problems today is unemployment. The unemployed are people able, available and willing to work at the going wage rate but cannot find a job, despite an active search for work.
2012 was a momentous year for Greece and for the Euro zone. The country managed to keep the euro and fears of the country immediate bankruptcy have receded. But is Greece over the worst? A Greek government spokesman, Simos Kedikoglou, in one interview, said: "Greece is over the worst of it. But it is not over yet. We still have things to do. Our first battle for our government was in June and the climate was very, very negative. I would say that we were practically out of the Euro zone, but we managed to win the first battle, the battle for the Euro zone. Now is the second battle, the battle against unemployment. Because unemployment in Greece has risen to levels nobody can imagine". 
The first two rounds of bailout funding for Greece have been doled out in small parcels upon completion of various spending cuts, tax hikes, and layoffs required under the rescue plans. During 2006-2008 years, we can see an improvement in unemployment sphere, but at 2009 it considerably changed, and it is getting worse and worse, almost without any improvement.
Unemployment Rate in Greece increased to 27.60 percent in July of 2013, from 27.50 percent in June of 2013. Greece Unemployment Rate averaged of 13.01 percent grew from 1998 until 2013, reaching an all time higher of 27.60 percent in July of 2013, and a record low of 7.30 percent in May of 2008. In Greece, the unemployment rate measures the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labor force. The way unemployment has grown in Greece since 2006 can be seen in the picture the following picture:
2013 population in Greece was 11.29 million people. 2013.06.15 number of employed persons was 3652.38 thousand and those unemployed reached 1302.76. Youth unemployment increased to 55.1 percent. The number of unemployed increased by 126.5 thousand persons ( 10.1 percent rate of increase), compared with July of 2012, and by 729 persons, compared with June (0.1 percent rate of increase).The number of employed decreased by 136.7 thousand persons, compared with the same month a year earlier (-3.6 percent), and by 14.2 thousand persons, compared with June (-0.4 percent).Inactive population, persons that neither worked neither looked for a job, increased by 21.8 thousand persons (up 0.7 percent), compared with July of 2012, and by 7.9 thousand persons, compared with May of 2013 (a 0.2 percent rate of increase) [Data from Eurostat]. 
            One of the main features of the recession in Greece, now in its fifth year, is the enormous increase in youth unemployment. More young people are now unemployed than have jobs. “It is by far the highest youth unemployment rate in the euro zone, highlighting the difficulties young people face in entering the labor market despite government incentives to create jobs", said economist Nikos Magginas, from the National Bank. Athens has lowered the minimum monthly wage for those under 25 years by 32 per cent, to about 500 euro to entice hiring. The most frightening figure from the Hellenic Statistics Authority was the rate among young people aged 15 to 24, at an astonishing 64.9 percent. There are now almost 1.4 million out of work in Greece, but there are also 3.3 million more who are considered economically inactive.
            Greece's economy is in its sixth year of recession, battered by tax hikes and spending cuts demanded by its European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders. The situation is a nightmare for the governing coalition, as it tries to convince a skeptical population that there is light at the end of the tunnel. So far, there has been nothing but more cuts in pensions and wages, combined with layoffs and tax hikes. While authorities predict that there will be a turnaround next year, the central bank nevertheless predicts that unemployment will peak at 28 percent and will not start to decline until 2015. The Greek government wants to tap European Union regional development funds to help promote job programs that will help boosting employment.
            In the streets of Athens you can see many people who are in panic. They do not know what to do, what is going to be in the future. In TV, the same. Many comments are like : "We can't pay our electricity bills, or the emergency taxes. We haven't enough for our medicines, and it's putting our lives in danger."
            In my opinion, Greece government should pay very big attention to the employment, because it hurts the most, when you have to sit at home without money, just with problems. As we all understand, they should create work places, especially in tourism industry. Greece is one of the most attractive places to go for holidays. Tourism in this country is so bright spot which accounts for almost 17 per cent of the Greek economy. A record of 17 million visitors are expected to visit it this year and revenues are expected to rise 10 percent. What is more, Greece have very good natural cosmetics, which are famous in America, England and other countries. My advice is to extend such kind of factories to make more products and export to another countries, such Eastern Europe, Asia and Australia. In this way, they would create work places and will turn their products more famous in the whole world.
            All in all, nowadays we see a lot of negative news about Greece economy, unemployment…There is full of this everywhere, in Television, Internet, Press. But I strongly believe, that trying slowly with the help of other countries, it can reach improvements in unemployment and in the economy as a whole, as well.

Migle Geciauskaite

[artigo de opinião produzido no âmbito da unidade curricular “Economia Portuguesa e Europeia” do 3º ano do curso de Economia (1º ciclo) da EEG/UMinho] 

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