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Greek Jobless Rate Seen Near 32% in 2014

JoblessEven as Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has said he has saved Greece from bankruptcy and ruination by securing more loans from international lenders, the attached austerity measures are so devastating to society that they will raise unemployment to unprecedented record levels of 29.3 percent in 2013 and 31.9 percent by the end of 2014, according to the German institute of macroeconomic forecasts IfW Kiel.
The German institute’s economists also forecast the Greek economy will shrink 4 percent next year and another 1 percent in 2014, compared to a more optimistic prediction from the European Commission of 0.6 percent loss in Gross Domestic Product (GDP.) Unrelenting pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions have pushed 20 percent of Greeks into poverty levels and more are coming.
In its revision of the Greek streamlining program, published in Brussels on Dec. 17, the European Commission had also been more optimistic in its estimates for the jobless rate, putting it at 24 percent for 2013 (from 23.6 percent in 2012) and 22.2 percent in 2014. It stands at a record 26 percent now.
By contrast, using International Labor Office (ILO) methodology, the IfW Kiel economists expect the unemployment rate to come in at 24.6 percent at end-2012 before soaring to 29.3 percent in 2013 – higher even than Spain’s 27.9 percent rate, which would give Greece the dubious distinction of having the highest rate n Europe. A rise in employment usually trails the economic growth rate by at least six months.
The IfW forecast mirrors that of the Labor Institute of the General Confederation of Greek Labor, which expects unemployment to top 30 percent next year. IfW also sees inflation in Greece reaching 1.1 percent this year and turning into deflation of 0.6 percent in 2013. The government has been constantly predicting lesser rates that have been frequently wrong.
(Source: Kathimerini)

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