Disheartening news for the Greeks on Thursday who are patiently awaiting some gains after six years of austerity. The unemployment figures ticked up in Q1, and while they are below their absolute peak, more than one in four Greeks are still without a job.
Now nearly four years into 20% or more territory, the jobless rate is staying stubbornly high despite some signs of economic recovery.
By now people had been hoping to see some results for their sacrifices, but instead unemployment is back on the rise as the economy dips into recession again after modest growth at the end of 2014.
It is all leading to some bleak opinions about the future.
“Unfortunately we are a country without a future. It doesn’t matter if the current government has good intentions, and I believe it does; it doesn’t have the opportunity any longer to do anything for you, for me, or our young,” said one man.
Standard and Poor’s rating agency added another nail to the Greek coffin on Thursday with a fresh downgrade of the country’s sovereign debt but despite all thus extra pressure some are convinced of Greece’s resilience and ability to stay afloat.
“The fear of a Greek exit from the euro zone is diminishing. There is still no compromise but there is a clear goal of the European partners to keep Greece in. They don’t want to bear the consequences of a Greek exit from the euro zone, which makes the markets happy. However, this will only last in the short term. In the long term, we will have gained absolutely nothing with Greece staying in the euro zone,” says the Baader bank’s Robert Halver.
Greece’s day of destiny as far as continued eurozone membership goes is at the end of June, when payments due are so large that Greece might default rather than pay. The current intensive talks on Greek debt are to prevent that endangering the entire single currency project.