Unemployment in Europe reached its highest level in 15 years. According to Eurostat, in February of this year, more than 17 million people were left without work.
European unemployment rose to 10.8%, which is 0.1 points higher than the January figures. Among the countries with the lowest unemployment rates in the lead Austria (4.1%) and Luxembourg (4.7%). The highest unemployment rate was recorded in Spain and is nearly 23%.
Compared to last year the unemployment rate fell in 12 states of the EU member states and increased in 15 countries. The most successful are struggling with unemployment Estonia (values dropped from 16.1 to 11.3%) and Lithuania (from 18.3 to 15%). While the most dramatic increase is observed in the Southern euro: Greece (from 12.9 to 18.3%) and Spain (from 20.5 to 22.8%).
The European Commission, which along with Berlin is trying to reduce the debt of the EU, said that the union be a difficult reform. So, at the end of last month Spain presented a hard budget plan that would make savings of 27 billion euros (36 billion dollars) to reduce the deficit. Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said the measures will be implemented as soon as possible, adding that Madrid does not need help in the neighboring Portugal.
With rising unemployment and growing public resistance. Last week, Prime Minister of Spain, Mariano Rajoy, faced his first general strike. The wave of protests took place in Brussels. Yesterday in the Belgian capital, demonstrators took to the streets to protest against the actions of the authorities.
While the policy soothe protesters and assured of control over the situation, economists forecast a further deterioration of the situation and rising unemployment in the euro area to 11% and above.
This forecast agrees economist JP Morgan in London, Rafael Brunn Aguerr: "We expect it to increase to reach 11% by the end of the year. Do you have a reduction of the public sector, lower income and weak consumption. The prospect of economic growth is negative and is going to worsen unemployment. "