The prospect of an ‘uncontrollable’ civil unrest looms over the EU member states as a result of the bloc’s stringent economic austerity measures, a British economist tells Press TV.
“We are living through a phase at this moment whereby the pressures on the ordinary people will ignite something, which the ruling elite may not be able to control,” Shabir Razvi said in a Thursday interview.
The lower-paid walks of life and even the middle classes in Europe “are being squeezed very dramatically” against the backdrop of the surging inflation rate and the plunging purchasing power, he added.
Razvi denounced the EU states’ austerity measures as “the punishment of the poor” and argued that such economic policies are doomed to failure, as they erode the consumers’ confidence and the employment market.
“So, the recession is really here to stay, I think, and all these measures which are being taken, the fiscal measures, the fiscal difficulties that are being faced by Eurozone countries will not go away by austerity measures,” he pointed out.
The comment comes as the eurozone unemployment rate has hit a record high in March, rising to 10.9 percent for the first time for 15 years, official figures show.
The European Statistics Office, Eurostat, announced on Wednesday that almost 17.4 million men and women, over three million of them under 25, looked for work in the eurozone in March which is about 170,000 more compared to February.
The joblessness rate is the highest since the launch of the euro currency in 1999.
The figures are expected to increase pressure on the region’s policymakers to take more pro-growth steps along with harsh austerity measures they have imposed on their people to fix their debt crisis, triggering incidents of social unrest and massive protests in many European countries.