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Greek youth: Champions without a Job – 39% Unemployed

Marina is 24 years old. One and a half years she got her diploma from the School of Economics. No matter how many CVs  she sent to several companies, Marina was unable to find a job up the present day. “I see no way out, no future” she say and turns her head towards the window. Marina is a vivid young woman who sees herself sliding into a phase of depression. She has nothing to do day in, day out. She feels the anger growing inside her. “Nothing, there is absolute nothing in the job market. Only at a call centre maybe, and yet there, jobs are decreasing too.” She describes how her parents tried to get her a job through friends and friends’ friends. However many small to medium enterprises have closed down in last year or are about to. Frustation is a word that cannot exactly describe how she feels.

Alexandra, 26, is a postgraduate also from the School of Economics. She is married and has a daughter of 3. Alexandra has not worked a single day. “I wonder, why I spent all these days and nights bowed over my books”, she asks laughing and adds that “it was all in vain, wasn’t it?”. The tall, blond young woman has always been an example pupil and later a student. I have been knowing her since the day she was born. It was more thn obvious that she would go to the University. What for? “Even as a hairdresseer I wouldn’t be able to find a job nowadays. Nothing moves. I’m afraid, I ‘ll spend my best working years as a mom…” Alexandra will be in desperate need of a job the latest next year, when the boss of her husband will retire and close down the computer shop.

“Unemployment” seems to be the only thing currently recording an explosive blooming in Greece. The markets, the citizens and even the state have dried out of money. According to the data released today by the Greek Statistics Authority unemployment reached 14,8% in December 2010, despite the Christmas shopping period. 41,000 people lost their job last December in comparison to November 2010.

Unemployment in comparison: Dec 10 14.8% –  Nov 10 13.9% – Dec 09 10.2%.

Among the ages groups, those 15-24 years old are mostly hit by the unemployment: 39 out of 100 people in this group have no job. They are followed by the ages 25-34 (21%), 35-44 (12.2%).  In all ages groups, women are in lead with 18.7 out of 100 being wihtout a job. Unemployment in Men is at 11.9%.

“I’m trying not to think about unemployment. I can’t stand it” says Eleni, 25,  a professional nursery teacher. She hasn’t managed to work a single day what she studied and was trained for.  She works at a butcher’s shop instead for the last one and a half year. Last spring, she had an offer to work at a nursery school for 3 months. She let the chance slide away out of fear, she wouldn’t be able to return to her butcher’s job once the contract had expire. And yet, as customers started to spending less,  the butcher who has a big shop  had to fire 3 people since the beginning of the year. Elenis wonders, if she should start counting the days…

“There is absolute no state plan to create jobs, no development, that’s horrible”, is her comment as hang up the phone to enter her day swift.

All three young women live in Athens, in middel class suburbs. According to Statistics, Athens has an unmployment rate of 14%. The Ionian Islands lead  with 23.1% followed by Western Macedonia 17.7% and Central Macedonia 16.5%.

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