The number of people out of work in Greece continues to rise.
The jobless rate hit a record high in June, from the deep recession made worse by austerity policies linked to the country’s bailout.
Just over 1.4 million are registered as without jobs, from a total population of just over 11 million
The unemployment rate rose to 27.9 percent of the workforce in June, with 58.8 percent of young people jobless. The total is up over three percent from a year ago. The eurozone average is 12.1 percent.
The Greek people are in despair. Nikoletta Argiogitis, a 29-year-old English teacher, said: “Unfortunately what I see around me is that things are getting worse. More and more people are losing their jobs. Wages are being reduced. I just don’t know what will happen.”
Unemployed Dimitris Gerousakis said he is considering leaving Greece: “I already left once for my masters degree. But then I decided to come back here to get a job. But now it looks quite probable that I will go back to Berlin, where I was before.”
The politicians are more optimistic; Prime Minister Antonis Samaras recently said he believed the slump this year would be smaller than forecast and economic pain should ease next year.
The finance ministry is reportedly now looking at a 3.8 percent contraction of GDP this year, less than the 4.2 percent decline forecast by international lenders.
But even if a recovery gets underway next year – as the authorities project – it will take time to be felt in the labour market.
Meanwhile, Greece’s largest private sector trade union GSEE sees the jobless total hitting 30 percent this year and going higher to 31.5 percent next year.