Half of Spain’s youth (that is, those under the age of 25) are now officially unemployed, while overall unemployment in Spain stands at 24.4%, according to the latest figures released by the Spanish Institute of Statistics INE. Both figures are almost exactly double the EU averages, according to the European Commission’s Eurostat.
The Spanish Government’s announcement of yet another round of drastic budget cuts – along with a tax increase – was preceded by a Government visit to the royal residence, in a clear attempt to have the King’s approval of the evidently unpopular austerity measures.
Spain’s King Juan Carlos stood proudly in a group photo in apparent unconditional support of their decision, yet in his speech he warned that “nobody should be excluded from the economic recuperation”, explaining that he “thinks in particular about the youth and the unemployed”.
Yet it is difficult to see how the current government’s policy addresses the ongoing crisis of youth unemployment and lack of prospects. Recently released overall unemployment figures for June do indicate a 2.1% drop in unemployment compared to May. The drop, reflecting mainly the seasonal increase in temporary work in the tourist industry, is the highest in 16 years, but the number of long-term contracts signed in June 2012 was in fact 2.1% lower than in June 2011.
Read the full article at the Conversation.