Unemployment in the eurozone has hit a near-15 year high. Some 17 million Europeans are now jobless, and forecasts are for the jobcentre queues to get even longer throughout the year.
Government’s austerity policies are increasingly being questioned on the markets as investors see consumption falling and few signs of any growth areas.
At 10.8% the offical jobless rate hides black spots of over 20% like Spain and other nations, like Austria, where full employment, not unemployment, is the norm. In contrast the USA has been creating jobs since late last year.
A summer of discontent is also being forecast, indeed is promised by the likes of the Occupy and Indignes movements, who last year scored unexpected successes with their protests.
“We, particularly the young people, are here because we have a bleak future and won’t have a stable job when we finish studying. It’s very sad and that’s why we are on the streets,” said one young Spaniard in the streets of Madrid.
With no work to do young people are turning out to be quite adept at protest, 21st century style, using social networks and mobile phones to mobilise. Their current plight means many feel there is little else they can do.