According to official figures, the unemployment rate affecting people under 25 years of age has reached 50 percent in Spain, 48 percent in Greece, 35 percent in Portugal, and 31 percent in Italy. Youth unemployment is also high in Ireland (30 percent), France (23 per cent), and Britain (22 percent).
On average, 25 percent of European's youth labor force is unemployed and yet another 25 percent only has a precarious, low paid job, even though most of unemployed young people possess high educational qualifications, including university diplomas.
In all these countries affected by high sovereign debt and economic recession, conservative governments have imposed drastic cuts in public spending, reduced social welfare programs and pensions and increased taxes, especially those paid by consumers, among other austerity measures.
These programs have deepened economic slumps and fiscal difficulties across Europe.
As the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) announced on Mar. 29 in its more recent economic assessment for the G7, the seven most industrialized countries of the world, "Our forecast for the first half of 2012 points to robust growth in the United States and Canada, but much weaker activity in Europe, where the outlook remains fragile."
"We may have stepped back from the edge of the cliff," the OECD’s chief economist Pier Carlo Padoan cautioned, "but there’s still no room for complacency."
Padoan also warned that the Eurozone’s three largest economies - Germany, France, and Italy – might have shrunk by an average of 0.4 percent during the first quarter of the year.
The German economy already suffered a slowdown of 0.2 percent during the last quarter of 2011. Given the OECD ...