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 European meltdown: austerity, summer riots, and record unemployment plagues EU nations

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PostSubject: European meltdown: austerity, summer riots, and record unemployment plagues EU nations   Fri May 31, 2013 11:40 am

European meltdown: austerity, summer riots, and record unemployment plagues EU nations




Posted on May 31, 2013 by The Extinction Protocol





May 31, 2013EUROPEUnemployment
has reached a new high in the euro zone and inflation remains well
below the European Central Bank’s target, stepping up pressure on EU
leaders and the ECB for action to revive the bloc’s sickly economy.
Joblessness in the 17-nation currency area rose to 12.2 percent in
April, EU statistics office Eurostat said on Friday, marking a new
record since the data series began in 1995. With the euro zone in its
longest recession since its creation in 1999, consumer price inflation
was far below the ECB’s target of just below 2 percent, coming in at 1.4
percent in May, slightly above April’s 1.2 percent rate. That
rise may rising concerns about deflation, but the deepening
unemployment crisis is a threat to the social fabric of the euro zone
.
Almost two-thirds of young Greeks are unable to find work, exemplifying
southern Europe’s ‘lost generation.’ Economists and policymakers
including Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, have said the
greatest menace to the unity of the euro zone is now social breakdown
from the crisis, rather than market-driven factors. In France, Europe’s
second largest economy, the number of jobless rose to a record in April,
while in Italy, the unemployment rate hit its highest level in at least
36 years, with 40 percent of young people out of work. “I’ve sent CVs everywhere, I come to the unemployment agency every day, for 3 or
4 hours to look for work as a truck driver and there’s never anything,”
said 42-year old Djamel Sami, who has been unemployed for a year,
leaving a job agency in Paris. Thousands of demonstrators from the
anti-capitalist Blockupy movement cut off access to the ECB in Frankfurt
on Friday to protest against policymakers’ handling of Europe’s debt
crisis. Some economists believe the ECB, which meets on June 6, will
have to go beyond another interest rate cut and consider a U.S.-style
money printing program to breathe life into the economy. “We do not
expect a strong recovery in the euro zone,” said Nick Matthews, a senior
economist at Nomura International in London. “It puts pressure on the
ECB to deliver even more conventional and non conventional measures.” In
the past, the euro zone has needed economic growth of around 1.5
percent to create new jobs, according to Carsten Brzeski, an economist
at ING. With the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
forecasting this week that the euro zone economy would contract by 0.6
percent this year, unemployment is set to worsen long before it turns
around. “We do not see a stabilization in unemployment before the middle
of next year,” said Frederik Ducrozet, an economist at Economist at
Credit Agricole in Paris. “The picture in France is still
deteriorating.” ECB President Mario Draghi, whose pledge to buy the
bonds of governments in trouble helped protect the euro zone from
break-up last year, has so far left the onus on governments to reform. A
majority of economists polled by Reuters do not expect the ECB
to cut its deposit or main refinancing rates soon, although the OECD
this week called for the bank to consider printing money for asset
purchases to revive growth. ECB policymaker Ignazio Visco said on Friday
it stood ready to take further action but that monetary policy alone
could not solve the euro zone’s economic problems. The Commission, the
EU’s executive, told governments this week they must focus on reforms to
outdated labor and pension systems to regain Europe’s lost business
dynamism, shifting the policy focus away from debilitating budget cuts
towards growth. EU leaders are expected to put the problem of
joblessness at the forefront of a summit in Brussels at the end of June.
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, who chairs the meetings,
said last week youth unemployment was one of the most pressing issues
for the 27-nation European Union as a whole. Ministers
from France, Italy and Germany called this week for urgent action to
tackle youth unemployment, with Schaeuble describing it as a “battle for
Europe’s unity” and warning of revolution if Europe’s welfare model is
abandoned.
In April, 5.6 million people under 25 were unemployed
in the European Union, with 3.6 million of those in the euro zone. Even
if governments take on unions and vested interests to enact reforms,
they will take time to produce benefits. “For the next two to three
years it all looks like a dead-end road,” said an unemployed sales
manager in Paris who gave his name as Dany. “I don’t see how things can
improve as long as we are not united to face the pressure from Asia and
Latin America.” –Reuters




Thanks to: http://theextinctionprotocol.wordpress.com


  

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