Unemployment in Greece spirals to 219 per cent in March as austerity

ATHENS, Greece – Greece’s unemployment shot up to 21.9 per cent in March, rising sharply from the 15.7 per cent rate in the same month last year and up from 21.4 per cent in February, the country’s statistics agency said Thursday.Greece has been struggling through a financial crisis for the past two years, and has been relying on billions of euros in international rescue loans from other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund since May 2010. In return, it has made deep spending cuts and imposed major tax hikes, leaving the country mired in a deep recession.The statistics agency said Thursday that unemployment was up 37.8 per cent in March compared with the same month last year. Compared with February 2012, there were 21,625 more people unemployed this March, a 2.1 per cent increase.Young people have been the most affected by the job losses, with more than half — 52.8 per cent — of those in the 15-24 age group out of work in March, compared to 42 per cent in the same month last year.Greece’s financial crisis has also triggered political turmoil. Voters furious at spending cuts that have led to reductions in pensions and salaries and ever increasing taxes punished the two main political parties, the New Democracy conservatives and socialist PASOK, in May 6 elections, turning to smaller and more radical parties on the right and left of the political spectrum.No party won an outright majority on May 6 and coalition talks collapsed after 10 days, forcing the country into new elections on June 17. New Democracy has been running head-to-head with the radical left-wing Syriza party in recent opinion polls. Syrisza has vowed to pull Greece out of its bailout commitments if elected. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by News Staff Posted Jun 7, 2012 6:11 am MDT Unemployment in Greece spirals to 21.9 per cent in March as austerity takes its toll read more

World Gold Council welcomes renewal of the Central Bank Gold Agreement reaffirming

first_imgAram Shishmanian, Chief Executive of WGC said on Friday: “The announcement is a clear endorsement of gold’s role in today’s global economic and financial architecture and a reflection of the success of the previous Central Bank Gold Agreements. The agreement to limit the sale of gold over the five year period to 2,000 t demonstrates that, at a time of continued market volatility and inflationary fears, gold’s unique investment qualities provide the necessary hedge and protection that central banks are seeking. The reduction in the annual ceiling on sales from 500 t in the current agreement to 400 t/y starting on September 27, 2009, reflects an acknowledgment of the fact that the central banks’ appetite for sales is diminishing. This is evident in the way that total sales under CBGA2 look set to fall well short of the ceiling the signatories set for themselves in 2004.”The decision to allow room under the agreed ceiling to incorporate the IMF’s proposed sale of 403 t demonstrates a willingness to help the IMF comply with the recommendations of the Crockett Report that IMF sales should represent no net addition to the quantity of gold the market is expecting from the official sector.last_img read more