ILO calls for urgent action in Greece to create jobs, tackle social problems

The International Labor Organization (ILO) called on Monday for a change in policy in Greece to boost employment and prevent a social crisis.

In its “Productive Jobs for Greece” study, which was presented in Athens on Monday, the ILO emphasized the problems of long-term unemployment in Greece and that a growing number of Greeks are finding themselves at risk of poverty.

“Greece is at a critical juncture and to set the country on a sustainable recovery path, urgent measures to support people and firms are needed, “ said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder. “Such measures should be defined in a tripartite setting bringing together government, employers and workers.”

The ILO called for a strategy that combines emergency measures to combat the deteriorating social situation and actions to boost employment.

“The emergency measures include an activation guarantee to all young jobseekers and groups most in need, the nurturing of “social economy” enterprises as avenues for job creation, improved access to credit for small businesses, and a review of the pace and policy mix of fiscal consolidation so as not to undermine recovery efforts,” said the organization.

The study suggests: Broadening the economic base; tackling undeclared work and working poverty, ensuring adequate coverage of the social protection system, enhancing human capital and rebuilding social dialogue between government, employers and workers.

“The proposed shift to a new growth and employment strategy is based on an analysis of best international practices adapted to the specific situation of Greece. A more comprehensive approach is possible,” said Ryder. “To make it a reality, the ILO stands ready to cooperate with the Greek government and social partners, and with the European Commission, as key actors of an urgent job-rich recovery.”

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