Saturday

17th Feb 2018

Southern EU countries post record job losses

  • The unemployment rate jumped almost 10 percent in Greece (Photo: YoungJ523)

Jobs in southern Europe are vanishing at record rates, widening the gap with the more prosperous north.

The unemployment figures for November 2012 published by the European Commission on Tuesday (8 January) show that Cyprus, Greece, Portugal and Spain saw the biggest losses compared to November 2011.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The number of people out of work in Cyprus jumped from 9.5 percent to 14 percent. In Greece, it rose from 18.9 percent to 26 percent. The Portuguese toll went from 14.1 percent to 16.3 percent and the Spanish figure went from 23 percent to 26 percent.

Italy fared little better, with the rate climbing from 9.3 percent to 11.1 percent.

By contrast, the German unemployment rate went down a notch to 5.4 percent. It climbed by less than 1 percent in Belgium, Luxembourg and The Netherlands and in the Nordic countries.

The figures for youth unemployment are even more alarming.

In Greece and Spain, around 57 percent of under 25s have no job. In Italy and Portugal, around 38 percent of young people have no way to earn a living.

The difference between the south and north is likely to fuel debate on whether the one-size-fits all fiscal policy in the eurozone is sustainable in the long run.

For his part, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, who currently holds the EU presidency, called the results "completely unacceptable" while on a visit to Germany on Tuesday.

Greek leader Antonis Samarras, in Germany the same day, referred to the fact that EU-mandated austerity is part of the reason for the jobs pain. "Our country is making enormous efforts and many are paying a high price, in order to get things back on track," he told press.

Pope Benedict XVI in a rare intervention also warned that the wealth gap is dangerous for the Union.

Noting that most of the anti-crisis effort so far has been designed to stop markets from pricing southern European bonds at higher levels than benchmark German papers, he said: "If the differential index between financial rates represents a source of concern, the increasing differences between those few who grow ever richer and the many who grow hopelessly poorer, should be a cause for dismay."

"It is a question of refusing to be resigned to a 'spread' in social well-being, while at the same time fighting one in the financial sector," he added, Bloomberg reports.

Opinion

The erosion of southern Europe

“Europe is back!” is the new, though cautious market mantra. Certainly, Europe will ultimately recover, but it will be a different Europe. Current hopes are inflated, as evidenced by the erosion of southern Europe.

Baltic states demand bigger EU budget

The leaders of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania say in a joint letter that they are open to talks on creating "new own resources" for a bigger EU budget after the UK leaves the EU.

EU-Latin America trade talks move to 'endgame'

Senior negotiators in the EU-Mercosur talks will meet in Brussels on Friday to work out the technical bits of a possible trade deal, after top political officials gave the talks a final push.

News in Brief

  1. Merkel: Nord Stream 2 pipeline poses 'no danger'
  2. Spanish king in Barcelona next week
  3. Turkey jails journalists for life
  4. Make budget cuts in farm and regional funds, the Dutch say
  5. UN: Hungary's anti-migration bill is 'assault on human rights'
  6. Journalist Deniz Yucel freed in Turkey
  7. New organic farming bill not ready until late spring
  8. Commissioner: Western Balkans in EU is 'obvious'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  2. EPSUMovie Premiere: 'Up to The Last Drop' - 22 February, Brussels
  3. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  4. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  6. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP
  7. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.Suing the Governments of Macedonia and Greece for Changing Macedonia's Name
  8. Dialogue PlatformBeyond the Errors in the War on Terror: How to Fight Global Militarism - 22 February
  9. Swedish EnterprisesHarnessing Globalization- at What Cost? Keynote Speaker Commissioner Malmström
  10. European Friends of ArmeniaSave The Date 28/02: “Nagorno-Karabakh & the EU: 1988-2018”
  11. European Heart NetworkSmart CAP is Triple Win for Economy, Environment and Health
  12. European Free AlllianceEFA Joined the Protest in Aiacciu to Solicit a Dialogue After the Elections

Latest News

  1. EU asks charities to explain anti-abuse measures
  2. ECB, Budget, EU elections This WEEK
  3. EU states stay mute on implementation of mercury bill
  4. Baltic states demand bigger EU budget
  5. Germany raises concerns over Hungary's 'Stop Soros' bills
  6. EU ties Brexit transition talks to divorce agreement
  7. EU divided over Western Balkan enlargement
  8. Facebook and Twitter weak on protecting users, says EU