Eurozone: Uncertain future with unemployment ravaging the South

Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament ECON - discussion with Klaus Regling, Managing Director of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), photographed here with ECON chair Sharon Bowles (ALDE UK). (EU Parliament Audiovisual Service, 24/09/2013).

Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament ECON – discussion with Klaus Regling, Managing Director of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), photographed here with ECON chair Sharon Bowles (ALDE UK). (EU Parliament Audiovisual Service, 24/09/2013).

Unemployment in Eurozone remained unchanged last August at 12% in relation to July, when it had slightly receded, compared with the 12.1% in June. This marginal reduction of unemployment in July was hailed as an indication that Eurozone is about to abandon its long term recession, an estimate also based on a marginal increase of euro area’s GDP by 0.3%, in the second quarter of this year. However all those optimistic assessments of Eurozone’s economy vanish in the thin air, if one takes a look at the absolute numbers behind percentages. Reality becomes dreadful if one starts reading the data of the south Eurozone countries under stress.

According to Eurostat the absolute number of unemployed persons in Eurozone, between the summer of 2012 and 2013 has risen by a round million. A look at the real numbers is quite discouraging. In August 2012 the unemployed people were 18,283 thousands. In May 2013 May the toll of workers without work reached 19,212 thousands, in June 2013 19,194, in July 2013 19,183 and in August 2013 19,178 thousand people. It becomes obvious that the slight variations in the numbers of unemployed persons between May and August this year are absolutely insignificant, compared to the one million increase between 2012 and 2013. Actually a positive or negative difference of one hundred thousand in 19 million is well within the statistical error.

Eurostat is not conducting every month unemployment censuses and the statistical error is a strong possibility. In any case the truth remains that around one million people lost their job during the last twelve months and the possibility to find a new one looks non-existent. Passing to country level the scenery becomes explosive. Differences are killing.

How can they stand it?

In August, among member states, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.9%), Germany (5.2%) and Luxembourg (5.8%), and the highest in Greece (27.9% in June 2013) and Spain (26.2%). Compared with a year ago, always according to Eurostat, “the unemployment rate increased in sixteen Member States fell in eleven and remained stable in Poland. The highest increases were registered in Cyprus (12.3% to 16.9%) and Greece (24.6% to 27.9% between June 2012 and June 2013). The largest decreases were observed in Latvia (15.6% to 11.4% between the second quarters of 2012 and 2013) and Estonia (10.1% to 7.9% between July 2012 and July 2013)”.

South Eurozone countries not only remain the champions of unemployment but the number of people without a job increases so fast, that it has reached unbelievable dimensions. It becomes increasingly a miracle how the Greek and Spanish societies remain in one piece and they still are running a political system more or less normal. The crack-down of the Golden Dawn fascist fabrication – in reality a criminal gang pretending to be Greek Parliamentary party – is the proof that those countries of the south are at the verge of their endurance.

A series of crisis

The same is true for Italy, where Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party (PdL), which governed Italy for many years, is just being dissolved. Around 40 senators of PdL have created a new political formation continuing their backing to the left-right government coalition, under Prime Minister Enrico Letta. Berlusconi wanted to deprive Letta from PdL’s Parliamentary backing and send Italy to a new electoral adventure. Still the Italian political system found the courage to neutralise Berlusconi and safeguard the stability of the country. What about the next crisis though?

It’s not only Italy and Greece having problems. Portugal also faces a series of crisis relating to austerity policies, the fast rising unemployment and the impoverishment of large parts of population. Spain can be included in the same category, but its government is much more stable and has absolute majority in Parliament.

The Problem is though that there is no light at the end of tunnel and the entire south Eurozone area is locked in a vicious cycle, with Germany refusing to change its stance. There is no strong political will in Europe for a closer union and Berlin refuses to lead and pay the way towards this direction. Even the European Parliament is lukewarm about that.

Yesterday the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the EU Parliament issued its annual resolution and the main theme in it is understandably the European Semester economic policy coordination structure. However what the legislators had to say about that is rather disappointing. According to law makers this policy “needs many fixes, not least to take proper account of growth, employment, investment and social concerns”.

The European Semester is the process whereby Eurozone’s member states have conceded the coordination of their budgetary and economic policies to Brussels and Berlin. The Parliament though all it had to propose to the Commission and the wealthy EU member states is just a tautology like “take proper account of growth, employment, investment and social concerns”. In view of all that south Eurozone’s prospects are rather unpredictable. It’s questionable how much longer the political systems of Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain can tolerate a fast growing impoverishment engulfing all the time and new parts of society. There is a cracking point in everything.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Here’s how tech can help governments fight corruption

Khashoggi trial in Saudi Arabia falls short of independent, international probe needed: UN rights chief

Mobile technology saving lives: Changing healthcare systems with simple technology solutions

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: Venezuela-Colombia baby breakthrough, Italy piles on rescue boat pressure, States must combat hate, Kashmir rights latest and a musical plea to combat CAR hunger

Climate change will force us to redefine economic growth

This AI can predict your personality just by looking at your eyes

Northern Ireland: Parliament wants to secure post-Brexit regional funding

UN launches Facebook Messenger-powered bot to take on climate change

Keeping cool in the face of climate change

‘Favour dialogue’ over violence, UN chief urges all parties following clashes in Mali’s capital

Building climate resilience and peace, go hand in hand for Africa’s Sahel – UN forum

Being blinded by labels stops social change. Art helps us see a better future

Here’s why upskilling is crucial to drive the post-COVID recovery

UN, African Union make significant joint commitment to global health

Protecting refugees in Europe: UNHCR calls for a ‘year of change’

Yemen: UN envoy asks Security Council for more support ‘to move back’ to the negotiating table

Is the EU denying its social character favouring a banking conglomerate?

UN rights chief Bachelet appeals for dialogue in Sudan amid reports ‘70 killed’ in demonstrations

How the US should react to the pandemic, according to Bill Gates

One million facing food shortages, nutrition crisis after Mozambique cyclones: UNICEF

4 ways Africa can prepare its youth for the digital economy

UN agencies launch emergency plan for millions of Venezuelan refugees and migrants

Do doctors need to know their patients’ sexual orientation and gender identity?

The next 48 hours may change the European Union

The UK referendum has already damaged Europe: even a ‘remain’ result is not without cost to Britain and the EU

Mali facing ‘alarming’ rise in rights violations, warns UN expert

A European Discovers China: 3 First Impressions

5 things to know about African migration

MWC 2016 LIVE: GTI shifts to phase two – 5G – after hitting milestones

If we want to solve climate change, water governance is our blueprint

Minsk “ceasefire” leaves more doubts than safety, with EU already planning steps further

Trade: First year of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement shows growth in EU exports

Electronic Cigarettes: Are they really as safe as we think?

UN and African Union in ‘common battle’ for development and climate change financing

Parallel downfalls of Merkel and Deutsche Bank threaten Germany and Europe

For video game addiction, now read official ‘gaming disorder’: World Health Organization

A new proposal breaks the stalemate over the Banking Union

To Brexit, or not to Brexit…rather not: 10 Downing Street, London

AI can be a game-changer for the world’s forests. Here’s how

What young people can teach world leaders about mental health in 2020

How can you or your organization support the Hour of Pride initiative?

Why do humanitarian crises disproportionately affect women?

Russia and the West to partition Ukraine?

Uzbekistan wins its long fight against malaria, as global rates continue to rise

Clean air is good for business

These are the world’s 20 most dynamic cities

Making the most of the Sustainable Development Goal 3: its overlooked role in medical education

Capital transaction tax on Ecofin table

International Women’s Day 2019: more equality, but change is too slow

An all-out fight for the EU budget

World Digital Media Awards winners announced at WNMC.19 in Glasgow, in association with The European Sting

Millennials (and Gen X) – Here are the steps you should take to secure your financial future

Forget GDP – for the 21st century we need a modern growth measure

David Attenborough’s worried about this ocean threat – and it’s not plastic

Is this the way to finally beat corruption?

80 adolescents a day will still die of AIDS by 2030, despite slowdown in epidemic

UN ceasefire monitoring chief tours Yemeni port of Hudaydah

DR Congo elections: ‘historic opportunity’ for ‘peaceful transfer of power’ says Security Council

Consumers’ rights against defective digital content agreed by EU lawmakers

Parliament mobilised to channel EU funds to those affected by Coronavirus pandemic

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s