The International Labor Organization has warned that Europe would face a "catastrophic" hike in unemployment, if debt-stricken Greece exited the single currency or if the eurozone were to break up. Ekkehard Ernst, a high ranking economist at the organization, told the German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung on Friday that the eurozone crisis and the possible exit of Greece from the bloc would lead to a huge joblessness, particularly among the youths. "It would be a catastrophe for the European youth,” AFP quoted Ernst as telling the German daily. The senior economist said that by 2014 Spain’s joblessness would increase to 27.7 percent, and that the rates of unemployment among 15-24 year-olds would rise to 51.3 percent.
Germany, which is Europe’s largest economy, will also face unemployment crisis, as one in ten would be without a job by 2014, Ernst also said.People in Portugal will also face a huge rise in unemployment, he estimated. "The average unemployment rate in the 17 eurozone member states would rise to 13 percent," Ernst told the German paper. Meanwhile, the economist warned that the rates of unemployment would rise in Europe, if the eurozone were to split. Jobless rates would rise to 11.3 percent by 2014 if the single currency zone were to split. Unemployment would jump to 17 percent in France, and in Spain one in three people would be unemployed, Ernst also said. The economists concluded that if the currency were to break up, youth jobless would increase to 59 percent in Spain, 38 percent in Italy and 34 percent in France. SAB/JR