Greece lags in funding for job creation

By Roula Salourou

Initiatives aimed at boosting employment in Greece – a country with 1.3 million jobless – are proving underfunded and insufficient, according to a report presented by the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE) in Thessaloniki on Thursday.

The union’s economists presented data from GSEE’s annual report on the Greek economy showing that the crisis-hit nation is not only the European champion in terms of unemployment but also the biggest laggard in expenditure on employment services: The jobless represent more than a quarter of the country’s work force, but just one in 10 gets unemployment benefits.

That trend, the GSEE economists stated, has been observed in other parts of Europe too, but the impact on Greece has been greater.

GSEE argued that the employment-boosting initiatives implemented during the crisis focused on measures to strengthen flexible, part-time and temporary work, but without any substantial results in combating unemployment. The fact that so many jobs had been lost to start with is viewed as the main reason for the marginal increase in employment, while programs for subsidized and temporary employment are only believed to have had a very slight influence. Such programs are certainly not seen as having contributed to the creation of new and stable jobs, the GSEE report concluded. It added that the so-called European Social Model is pointless, while inequalities are on the rise.