Greece Unemployment Rate In November Hits Record High, Nearly Third Of Population In Poverty

Greece Unemployment Rate In November Hits Record High, Nearly Third Of Population In Poverty.

As the world goes into an economic tail spin, Greece is a glimpse into the future if things keep going the way they are. Unemployment in Greece rose to 27 percent in November as a result of financial crisis and austerity measures leaving nearly a third of the population in poverty by the end of the year. More than 30,000 people have lost their jobs in November with jobless rates continuing to acceleration according to the Statistics Agency. The worst affected are 15-24 years old without a job at 61.7 percent. Greece is in its sixth year of recession and is relying on international rescue loans to keep afloat. In return, the government imposed major spending cuts and tax hikes that have caused increased poverty and thousands of businesses to close. New tax hikes went into effect this month leading to further pressure on a shrinking workforce with 3.6 million Greeks remain employed, but 3.3 million are registered as inactive and 1.35 million are unemployed, according to the November figures. 3.9 million out of 11 million will be living in poverty by the end of the year as the poverty line in Greece is set at less than $9,700 per year. Several hundred pensioners marched to the Labor Ministry in heavy rain to protest the new tax increases. Dimos Koumbouris, leader of Greece’s main pensioners association, told AP that,”We can’t pay our electricity bills, or the emergency taxes. We haven’t enough for our medicines, and it’s putting our lives in danger.” Unions have called a strike for Feb. 20, protesting new tax hikes and government decision to ax collective wage agreements in the public sector. Another battle soon to erupt is over whether the minimum wage will be reduced from $666 a month to much lower. The government has denied any plans to cut the minimum wage or that this has been demanded by the country’s debt inspectors. According to Huff Post, the EU’s monetary affairs commissioner, Olli Rehn, noted that under Greece’s agreement with its bailout lenders, “a review of the minimum wage system is provided for in 2014.” His spokesman stressed “there is no explicit, or even implicit, agreement that there should be further cuts.”

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