The Eurozone has faced many economic challenges since the onset of the global economic crisis. But undoubtedly one of the most significant hurdles it has still to overcome is the record high level of youth unemployment recorded in several of the currency bloc’s most prominent nations.
The situation is particularly concerning in countries like Spain and Greece, but even in Germany (where the unemployment rate currently sits around a twenty-year low) joblessness among the 18-25 age bracket is on the up.
As it stands there are roughly 3.6 million unemployed young people across the 17-nation currency bloc and in a recent interview for the BBC German Chancellor Angela Merkel described the situation as a ‘huge crisis’.
Merkel went on to assert that in the current climate the unemployed youth should be willing to relocate in order to find work.
She noted that in East Germany, where youth unemployment is climbing, many youths ‘only had jobs because they moved to the South.’
Merkel then commented: ‘I think it’s unfair that it is the young people especially who have to pay the bill for something they didn’t do. But there’s no way around it. We have to manufacture products or offer services in Europe that we can sell […] With regard to jobs and growth, the Eurozone and other countries are in a difficult situation. The issue is not austerity, the issue is to get back to growth. This process is under way. Europe has to decide: how do we make a living? What do we want to produce? What do we want to manufacture? How can we cut red tape? How can we intensify trade?’
Mekel’s approach to tackling the Eurozone crisis has drawn criticism from some of the currency bloc’s most indebted and struggling nations. Whether Merkel will adopt a different rhetoric once the German general election is over remains to be seen.
The most important pieces of Eurozone news to watch out for this week include tomorrow’s German/Eurozone ZEW economic sentiment survey and Thursday’s German/Eurozone manufacturing and services PMI.
Euro (EUR) Exchange Rates As of 08:50 –
The Euro/US Dollar Exchange Rate is currently in the region of: 1.3323 <
The Euro/Pound Sterling Exchange Rate is currently in the region of: 0.8483 <
The Euro/Australian Dollar Exchange Rate is currently in the region of: 1.3870 <
The Euro/ New Zealand Dollar Exchange Rate is currently in the region of: 1.6474 <
The Euro/ Canadian Dollar Exchange Rate is currently in the region of: 1.3531 <