Unemployment brings deeper Greek poverty
ATHENS - The Associated Press
As the Greek unemployment surges, poverty deepens further. REUTERS photoUnemployment in Greece rose to a record 27 percent in November as a result of the financial crisis and austerity measures that will leave, according to one survey, nearly a third of the population in poverty by the end of the year.
The Statistics Agency said unemployment increased from a rate of 26.6 percent in October and 20.8 percent in November the previous year. More than 30,000 people lost their job in November, the agency said, with the jobless rate accelerating from earlier in the year.
Worst affected are the young, with 61.7 percent of those in the 15-24 age group without a job.
Greece is mired in the sixth year of a recession, and has been relying for nearly three years on international rescue loans to keep it afloat. In return for the bailout, the government has imposed major spending cuts and tax hikes which have hammered the economy, causing an increase in poverty and forcing thousands of businesses to close.
The economy contracted a further 6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 from the previous year, the statistics agency said. That followed annual contractions of 6.7, 6.4 and 6.7 percent in the previous three quarters.New tax hikes that went into effect this month have added pressure on the shrinking workforce: 3.6 million Greeks remain employed, but 3.3 million are registered as inactive and 1.35 million are unemployed.