Friday, August 12, 2011

Greece jobless rate continues to rise

Unemployment rate in Greece has hit 16.6 percent

Source: Press TV

The unemployment rate in debt ridden Greece has continued to rise, having peaked at 16.6 percent in May, as the government austerity measures continue burdening the Greek.

The Greek unemployment rate was up 4.6 percent in April compared to the same period a year earlier, the Greek statistical service ELSTAT reported on Thursday

The jobless rate continues its upward path as the country struggles with a severe debt crisis.

The unemployment rate for May has been the highest the Greek statistics agency has recorded since it first began officially releasing these figures in 2004.

Young people aged 15 to 24 have been badly hit with an unemployment rate of 40.1 percent, which, for the same age group, stood at 32.5 percent the year before.

This comes as the introduction of a second bailout plan has only resulted in harsher austerity measures by the government, which aims to decrease the 2011 budget deficit by EUR 6.5 billion.

The measures, which included the cutting of public sector salaries and pensions, increasing taxes and overhauling the pension system, sparked nationwide protests in Greece.

The protests turned violent at times, leaving scores of protesters and security forces injured.

Greece received a EUR 110 billion EU-IMF bailout loan last year, as it faced a massive debt crisis but did not manage to resolve its financial problems. Greece has a debt of over EUR 300 billion.

Analysts at the Bank of Greece, the country's central bank, predicted that the Greek economy will shrink by 4 percent for the fiscal year 2011.

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