Greece’s jobless rate continues to rise under the austerity linked to its international bailout.
The unemployment rate hit a new record high of 27.6 percent of the workforce in May. April’s number was revised upwards to 27 percent.
The country is in its the sixth year of recession and job seekers are pessimistic.
In Athens, a 60-year-old unemployed woman said: “Greece is not on the road to recovery. We’ve returned to the 1950s. I was a child then and I know what happened, we are starting from scratch.”
While a man spoke of his despair: “The business I worked for has closed. I am 66-years-old, unemployed and won’t get a pension. I go through rubbish bins looking for something to eat.”
The young are also hard-hit. Nearly two thirds of 15 to 24 year olds are out of work.
Ordinary Greeks are suffering the austerity imposed by international lenders to slash government debt levels, but only austerity means a downward economic spiral.
Greece may be in the worst state but analyst Patrick Armstrong says the whole region is not growing as it should: “Europe’s still not really addressed the core issues that led to the European crisis so I don’t think we’re going to have sustainable growth in Europe. You really need the ECB to do unconventional policies like every other central bank’s been doing , and I think a weak euro will facilitate some growth but we’re not there yet.”
Improving exports and a strong tourism season – with an expected record 17 million visitors – should help to contain the further rise in joblessness expected this year.
But the Greek central bank has projected that unemployment will peak at twenty eight percent, before it starts to decline in 2015.
As the latest jobless figures were released Greece’s Ministry of Labour said it has launched a crackdown on people working without paying taxes.
Officials are suspicious because in some popular tourist areas the number of people being hired has fallen, even at the height of the holiday season.
They include the islands of Thasos, Zakynthos and Kalymnos and the area around Chalkidiki.
The authorities also said that Greek shop owners who have resisted on-site tax checks and found not to be issuing receipts are receiving penalties including being closed for one-month.
The General Secretariat of Revenues has ordered the shuttering of 12 premises for such non-compliance and said 14 more faced similar action in the near future.
With millions of visitors crowding the country’s beaches in the holiday month of August, tax inspectors have focused on popular resorts where tax evasion is traditionally rampant.
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2Spain’s first case of diphtheria in 30 years: parents of six-year-old ‘oppose vaccines’
- 3Greek debt crisis is “absolute supremacy of capital over humans”
- 4[Live updates] NGO flotilla bids to break Israeli blockade of Gaza
- 5[LIVE UPDATES] Greek debt deadline looms
- 6Istanbul Gay pride quashed by riot police, rubber bullets and water cannon
- 7[LIVE UPDATES] France: man decapitated, several wounded in chemical plant attack
- 8Israel prepares to repel boarders as ‘Freedom Flotilla 3’ tries to run Gaza blockade
- 9Greek debt summit – Live updates
- 10Large Hadron Collider ready to embark on an unprecedented voyage of discovery
- 11‘Distractingly sexy’ scientists hit back in lab chemistry polemic
- 12Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria focus of EU cash fraud probes
- 13NewsWires : euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 14Summit up in Brussels as Greek proposals give food for thought and rumours fly
- 15Interpol issues ‘red notice’ for accused ex-FIFA bosses
- 16Battle of Waterloo, live-tweeting 200 years on
- 17Greek PM faces day of crucial bailout talks in Brussels
- 18Citizens take power in Spain’s largest cities as a political revolution sweeps the country
- 19Italy discovers biggest illegal waste dump in Europe
- 20Greek debt: who will pay if Greece fails?
Wires > Business
- 09:33 CET Euro zone inflationary pressures at four-year high – ECRI
- 09:30 CET RBS refers clients to Paribas for transaction services
- 09:24 CET UK annual house price growth slowest in two years – Nationwide
- 09:15 CET Hunting sees full-year operating profit slump on oil woes
- 08:24 CET UK lowers stake in Lloyds Banking Group to 15.9 percent
- 08:19 CET Builder Persimmon says May election did not dent UK consumer…
- 04:23 CET Proxy advisor urges Samsung C&T holders to reject $8 billion merger
- 04:02 CET UK manufacturing growth hits two-year low in June – PMI