Greek unemployment in Q1 reaches ten-year high

08:20, June 18, 2010      

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Unemployment in Greece climbed to 11.7 percent in the first quarter of 2010 from the previous 10.3 percent in the last three months of 2009, the country's National Statistics Agency announced on Thursday.

It was a ten-year high, experts noted. In the first quarter of 2009, the unemployment rate was 9.3 percent.

Due to austerity measures introduced to put the Greek economy in order amidst an acute economic crisis, officials and analysts expect that the unemployment rate will further increase over the next months.

According to the latest statistics, there are 586,767 jobless Greeks. The most seriously affected are women and youths. The percentage of unemployed among women is 15.5 percent and among men 9 percent. The rate of unemployment among people from 15 to 29 years old stands at 22.3 percent.

There is no more room for sacrifices by the average Greek citizens, which is the main message sent by representatives of labor unions which organize one more general strike for next week, the day the bill on the pension system reform will be voted in parliament.

The same message was stressed by employees at the Athens public transportation system who held a work stoppage on Thursday, denouncing cutbacks in job positions and wages.

Personnel in the Athens subway held a similar work stoppage on Wednesday, a 24-strike on Thursday and announced another 24-hour strike for Friday, in protest of the forthcoming lay-offs of 285 employees with short term contracts.

Source: Xinhua


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