Greece’s official jobless rate has soared in the second quarter of this year as the country is suffering from its worst postwar recession and faces bankruptcy plus a potential exit from the euro area, Press TV reports. According to figures released on Thursday, unemployment climbed to 23.6 percent in the quarter from 22.6 percent in the first quarter. The data also revealed that more than 1.16 million people were registered as unemployed in the heavily indebted euro member. Those hardest hit by the unemployment crisis are people with 24 years of age with a rate of 53.9 percent. Those aged 25 to 29 also faced a very high 36.8 percent. Women are also badly affected, with unemployment reaching 27.3 percent compared to the men's 20.8 percent. Greece is seeking to finalize an austerity program of over 11.5 billion euros ($14.9 billion).
The package includes slashing pensions by 3.5 billion euros, health cuts worth 1.47 billion euros as well as a 517-million-euro reduction in defense spending.The proposed austerity program has already caused public protests. About 15,000 trade unionists and leftists marched in Greece's second biggest city of Thessaloniki on September 8 to express anger over the proposed cuts. Last week, about 4,000 police, coastguards and firemen staged demonstrations outside the finance ministry and parliament to show their annoyance of budget cuts. CV/MP/JR