The publication of the latest unemployment figures for the eurozone and European Union reveal fresh record highs, with unemployment in the eurozone now at 12%.
Hannes Swoboda, president of the S&D Group, condemned the neo-liberal austerity policy as the root of the record unemployment:
"Time and again, unemployment figures in Europe are topping record highs, yet we see no willingness by EU politicians to change the disastrous course of extreme austerity that leads to these excruciating levels of unemployment.
"Ideology continues to dominate the economic policies of the European Commission and is preventing it from finding alternatives which could allow for an economically sensible and socially balanced debt reduction policy.
"The flexibility that the European Commission has shown recently in extending the targets for deficit reductions is still not a growth policy which would help reduce deficits and debt by increasing employment – and consequently government revenue. There is still no strategy to combine long-term fiscal responsibility with investments in growth and employment."
On the issue of youth unemployment in Europe, Hannes Swoboda added:
"The slight statistical decrease in youth unemployment due to reductions in Italy, Austria and Germany has not marked a change in the dire situation of the labour market for the young. The duration of unemployment for the young is increasing, and with it dramatic economic, social and political consequences."
S&D Press contact: Céline Bayer
+ 32 2 284 65 97
+ 33 3 88 17 22 65
+ 32 473 85 82 11

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