Hope wanes as Greek unemployment hits new record

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Hope wanes as Greek unemployment hits new record

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As the Greek economy spirals down, the number of people out of work there has climbed to a new record.

In May – the latest month for which figures are available – 23.1 percent of the workforce was unemployed. That is up from 16.8 percent a year earlier.

The situation is even worse for young people – more than half of Greeks aged 15-24 are without work.

The mood at the job centres is gloomy.

Economics graduate Constantinos Manolis is desperate for a job, any job: “What I’d like, for starters, is a job just to get by, whatever it is. As for my dreams for a career, well that’s difficult for now.”

Kostas, a 55-year-old former security guard said he doesn’t think he’ll work again: “Hope? There is no hope. All our hope has dried up, where can one find hope? And you see what’s happening in Europe, we aren’t the only ones.”

Unemployment is set to go on rising. It has soared as budget cuts – a condition for EU and IMF bailout money – caused many business closures and bankruptcies and a sharp drop in consumer spending.