Euro Zone Crisis: Austerity Fails as Spain, Italy and Greece Millennials Are Still Jobless and Angry
The European crisis is here to stay. Although there is a general discussion that all the political actions that were taken during the past months will have a positive effect on the European economy, statistics appear to denigrate this optimistic image.
On Friday, the European Commission has released the results of a research that examined the current social situation in terms of employment and economical status. However, the outcome was not the one expected and once again it yielded a commonplace: a destabilizing and profound political bipolarism.
The socioeconomic gap between the North and the South appears to be wider than ever, alarming not only the Commission but also the national governments about the potentiality of general social revolt and turmoil.
The focal point of the research was unemployment. It was observed that it has increased not only quantitatively (it is estimated to more than 25 million of unemployed people) but also qualitatively (the percent age of +5 years jobless individuals has doubled). Additionally, the data shows that the South was intensely stricken by the crisis, since more than 1.5 million jobs were lost in Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal in 2012. Moreover, unemployment to the labor force 15-24 years old has increased to historical levels in the EU, exceeding 25%. Italy, Spain and Greece are still over 35% on that particular category when other countries are far below 15%.
The monthly income is another disparaging factor of this research. Strict austerity and fiscal amelioration not only did they not manage to improve the economic situation of Europeans but, as it is observed, they have raised barriers and they generated obstacles that are difficult to be surpassed. For example, only in Greece, the monthly income of a middle class family has decreased by 16%, something that in proportion with unemployment and heavy taxation can delineate the suffocating framework that has been formed. In Spain, the new measurements which will provide €40 billion to the Spanish government have already provoked social revolt, strikes and demonstrations along the country. In the high industrialized Italy, the industrial rates experience historical depths and national business forums are illustrating a rather degrading image about the future of exports.
All the above are very concrete issues that can eloquently describe that the core problem of Europe is not just the fiscal crisis and the destabilization of the continent. When the citizens of a territory that wants to introduce itself as a pioneer of knowledge, history and economy are struggling to survive, work and study, then the problem becomes significantly social. For many, the crisis was a necessarily evil so to erase the effects of political lapses and economic dysfunctions of the past. For others, it is still a great opportunity for Europe to reprioritize and reconsider its sociopolitical self. No matter what it is, the European society is disparaged, exhausted and fearful, and if inspiration and security are not provided to the Europeans, then change will not be an option.