Greek Unemployment Rises to 26.8%


Greek Protests

With the latest unemployment figure at 26.8%, Greece has overtaken Spain as the country with the highest unemployment in the European Union.  Greater than one out of every four Greeks is unemployed, raising fears that regardless of how much money is poured in to the Greek economy, nothing can save it from collapse.  Unemployment numbers like these are approaching depression levels and at some point, it won’t be possible to bring it back. Fewer people working, means fewer people are paying taxes.  Austerity measures, while absolutely necessary, are weighing heavily on the economy in the short-term.  Greece has already received more than two-thirds of the 240 billion euros ($315 billion dollars) pledged by the European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the European Commission.  In order to receive the funds, the Greek Government had to agree to drastic cuts in pension funds and pay freezes in the public sector.  Needless to say, it has not been popular with the general public and has been tough on the economy.  But without the loans and reduction in spending Greece would have defaulted on her debt and that would have been worse than what is currently taking place.  Europeans must learn that governments don’t have unlimited supplies of cash and six weeks of vacation, early retirement, and huge pensions, are not sustainable.  If there is not a drastic change in the way people do business, it will never be ok.  The worst part for the citizens of Greece, is it’s going to get worse before it gets better.  With more spending cuts forthcoming, it’s conceivable the unemployment rate may touch and even exceed thirty-percent.

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