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Greece Jobless Rate Seen Over 30%

unemployment _GreeceWith Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras saying all is well now in Greece and that he’s put the economy on the road to recovery, the record 27.4 unemployment rate will like go past 30 percent next year, a report by the Center of Planning and Economic Research (KEPE) showed, bad news for the government’s hopes to restore confidence.
The report published in the KEPE journal showed that the jobless rate this year will amount to 28.5 percent before climbing to 30.4 percent in 2014. Should this forecast prove correct, it will generate even more difficult conditions in society and the market: “This is a particularly negative development, but it is also inevitable given the continuing reduction in economic activity,” the report noted.
In this context, KEPE estimates that the economy will shrink by 4.09 percent this year, against a budget forecast for 4.5 percent, followed by a 0.55 percent contraction in 2014, while the government expects a return to growth to the tune of 0.6 percent next year. KEPE also projects deflation of 0.18 percent this year and 0.12 percent in 2014.
The numbers are in line with similar projections from the highly-regarded think tank, the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) in Athens which said that the Premier’s biggest worry about unrelenting joblessness is that it could rekindle the same kind of protests, strikes and riots that brought down the previous government led by then-PASOK Socialist leader George Papandreou.
The jobless rate has soared since a succession of governments began imposing pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions on workers, pensioners and the poor, sending expected revenues down instead of up and leading to the closing of scores of thousands of businesses as Greeks slowed spending.
Adding to the increase will be the estimated 15,000-20,000 public sector workers who will be fired by the government on the orders of international lenders who demanded austerity measures in return for the aid.


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