Greece faces 2 decades to recoup lost jobs

GMT 22:45 2014 Monday ,24 November

Arab Today, arab today Greece faces 2 decades to recoup lost jobs

'Prosfygika' complex in Athens
Athens - AFP

Greece, in the throes of soaring unemployment and a six-year recession, faced a "prolonged social crisis" which could last another two decades, the International Labour Organisation said in a report on Monday.
The ILO said that assuming Greece's pre-recession average job creation rate of 1.3 percent per year, the country "would not return to pre-crisis employment levels until 2034."
"Greece faces a prolonged social crisis unless action is taken," the organisation warned.
Whilst the jobless rate is in slow decline, there are still over 1.2 million registered unemployed in Greece, or 25.9 percent of the workforce as recorded in August, the height of the busy tourist season.
The Greek government says the economy will finally exit recession this year, but the ILO argues that even at a growth rate of 2.0 percent annually, recovery would still take 13 years.
The number of Greeks at risk of poverty has more than doubled in five years, rising from above 20 percent in 2008 when the recession began to over 44 percent in 2013, the organisation said.
One in four jobs has been lost over this period, it said, calling for "urgent measures" to support people and firms and set the country on a "sustainable" recovery path.
Greece should facilitate the expansion of sustainable enterprises, especially in tourism and the agricultural sector, tackle undeclared work, cooperate with firms to design skill programmes, and shift the tax base from basic consumption to property.
A fiscal overhaul supervised by Greece's creditors -- the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund -- has concentrated on slashing wages and benefits to improve competitiveness and boost economic growth.
"The strategy so far, while it has helped restore public finances, has not achieved the expected results in terms of a sustainable economic and employment recovery," said ILO's research director Raymond Torres.

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