- The unemployment rate has reached tragic levels in Greece. A recently released report states that the "official' unemployment number shot up from 23.6% to 24.6%. Statistics from the report show that each month the unemployment rate increases by one percent. In the last three months, the unemployment rate in Greece has exceeded the 24% mark.
In 2011, 810,821 people were unemployed in Greece. In 2012, that number rose to 1,168,761 for the same period of time.
In September, analysts expect the unemployment rate to reach 24.5%, the second-worst in Europe, after Spain. Young people between the ages of 18-25 are experiencing 53.9% unemployment. For women, it's even worse, at 62.1%. People who work part-time or maybe just a few hours a day are NOT counted as unemployed.
It has been reported that every single day in Greece, 1,000 people lose their jobs. The situation, in fact, is even more dramatic. Analysts say that figure is closer to 3,000. Officially, unemployment is worse than it was during the Nazi occupation during WWll!
- This weekend, at the International Trade Fair in Thessaloniki, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras vowed to fight the current round of austerity measures being "negotiated' in Athens by mobilizing his lawmakers and supporters against the measures. He stated, "The time to stop the catastrophe is now. These measures must not pass. They will deliver the final blow to the people."
Tsipras called for a halt to the country's continuing slide into a deeper recession, blaming the Troika's austerity policies. He said that Greece should walk away from its deal with international lenders and begin to prepare for a ""post-Troika era." He added that the country could no longer stand the impact of an ""absurd fiscal policy" of relying on foreign aid.
Due to 5 years of Troika-imposed policies that include wage cuts, slashed pensions and tax hikes, almost two million people have lost their jobs. 68,000 businesses have closed and the economy has shrunk by 7%. If the government-of-the-regime continues to "fulfill the terms of the Memorandum' there is every indication that things will get even worse.
Tsipras extended an "invitation for unity and creation" as he presented eight objectives for "a comprehensive, coherent, progressive, and realistic reconstruction program" in order to secure the essential welfare services and infrastructure and increases in public funding for education, health, and social support.
From Keep Talking Greece:
Specifically, the eight objectives are:
- The immediate raising of a protective shield in society in order to halt the ongoing humanitarian crisis
- Reduce unemployment as soon as possible
- Provide necessary social services and infrastructure; increase public funding for education, health and social protection
- Adequate food, medicine and fuel in the country. Supporting local production for essential drugs and generics. Encouraging the greatest possible import substitution. It is telling that 75% of drug costs are for 98 drugs of a total 6,000, of which only two are produced in our country. We will establish a national wholesaler. And, instead of indirectly funding pharmaceutical companies from the state budget, directly fund scientific research in the field of medicine.
- Reduce the public-debt economy
- Implement a comprehensive program to protect natural resources and the environment
- Develop public mass transport, particularly railways, throughout mainland Greece and combined road and public transport. The establishment of a public-social ferry operator for transport among the islands
- The further strengthening of shipping with the conclusion of the national framework agreement with the shipping industry and the ship-owning world. This agreement, among other things, will review, from scratch, the 58 different tax breaks now enjoyed by Greek ship owners.
For increasing revenues, Tsipras proposed:
1. The progressive reform of the taxation system
2. The establishment of a thorough electronic asset registry
3. The restructure and reform of tax offices with skilled personnel