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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-11-18

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Socialists conference on youth unemployment

  • [01] Socialists conference on youth unemployment

    A conference organised by the Socialist Group in the European Parliament was held in Athens on Friday with the participation of government officials, members of the opposition, and representatives of the European Parliament in an effort to find solutions to unemployment on both a national and European level.

    Socialist Group President Martin Schultz noted that if society deprives youngsters of the right to opportunities then one cannot complain when these youngsters revolt.

    He called on businesses, universities, unions, politicians and local government officials to acknowledge that human decency does not go hand-in-hand with long-term unemployment and to ensure young adults' right to work.

    General Confederation of the Employees of Greece (GSEE) President Christos Polyzogopoulos opened the conference saying that "unemployment is a major challenge that demands in-depth consideration and creative intervention, both on a Greek and European level."

    On his part, main opposition PASOK President George Papandreou expressed confidence that Europe's socialists can help youngsters in this direction.

    He said that PASOK's priority is to ensure employment for all and expressed doubts as to whether the government's current policy will succeed in reducing unemployment to 6% as the government hopes.

    Papandreou emphasised that new jobs are necessary but not at the expense of workers' rights or job security.

    He cited the Scandinavian model as an example and stressed that investment in education and facilitating youngsters' entry into the labour market are necessary.

    Representing the government, Labour Minister Panos Panayiotopoulos said that the challenges of the 21st century are very different to those of the past, "since parametres and standards that have applied since the 19th century either cannot withstand the passage of time or are being tried due to new developments."

    He noted that the government adamantly disagrees with the EU directive Bolkestein and is against increasing weekly work hours from 48 to 65.

    Furthermore, Panayiotopoulos pointed out that it is mainly up to the private sector to create new jobs, since - according to the minister - the state has failed as entrepreneur.

    He said that employment issues cannot be changed with "magic formulas" and that the government is following long-term policies of 20-30 years. It is at that time that one will be able to evaluate the government's achievements, he added.

    However, he said that initial indications are optimistic since unemployment has shown a slight decrease.


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