Europe appears headed toward a hot autumn and a winter of discontent. French and Polish trade unions have called protests against government austerity, after similar actions in Germany and Greece.
Eurozone unemployment remains stuck above 12 per cent, more than 50 percent among youth in a number of countries. It’s a ticking social time bomb governments are hard-pressed to address, squeezed by euro budget rules and Brussels’ demands for painful reforms, such as liberating labour markets.
France’s budget deficit is over 4 per cent of GDP, with the country’s credit rating downgraded from AAA. Along with Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy, France is struggling to follow through on promised reforms.
Who’s going to have to bend, and what impact will that have on the euro? How dangerous is Europe’s high unemployment? What is the best way to fight the problem? These are just some of the questions euronews journalist Chris Burns put to members of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, Pervenche Berès and Phil Bennion, and Senior Economist for ING Belgium, Carsten Brezski.