The last quarter of 2011 saw the Greek jobless rate hit a record high at 20.7 per cent. Greece received a 130 billion euro bailout. However to receive the bailout Greece had to make severe budget cuts including reducing the number of government jobs.

The public and especially unions are angry. Consumer confidence is declining as well. The statistics agency ELSTAT indicated that jobs were being lost at an increasing rate. The unemployment rate of 20.7 in the last quarter of 2011 compares to 17.7 in the third quarter and 14.2 per cent in the final quarter of 2010.

Worst hit are Greek young people. In the 15 to 29 age range almost 40 per cent are unemployed. A year earlier the rate was 28 per cent itself a very high rate.

The Greek economy shrank 7 per cent in 2011 and is expected to remain in recession in 2012 for the fifth year in a row. Under these conditions it is difficult if not impossible for Greece to increase revenue and pay off its debts. No doubt the solution according to the Troika overseeing the bailout will be to demand further belt tightening.

Greece's December jobless rate was about double the euro zone average of 10.6 per cent. However, Spain's rate was even worse in the last quarter of 2011 at 22.9. For more see this BNN article.


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