The unemployment rate across the Eurozone hit a new high in November 2012. According to the BBC it climbed to 11.8%.
In October it was 11.7% but although the rise is small in November it is bad news. Pre-Christmas employment figures are often boosted by seasonal jobs. The fact that across the 17 Eurozone member nations an increase was experienced, however small, is not good news. It is not bad news. It is terrible news
Spain which is in the economic doldrums reported a 26.6%.unemployment rate. The change of government, from left to right, has not had any positive impact. Youth unemployment is running high in the Eurozone.
Officially there are now 26 million people unemployed across the EU. Such figures though rarely take into account those in temporary work or who have for one reason or another opted not to register as unemployed. In the Eurozone as a whole the figure is 18.8 million. The BBC reported,
Greece had the second-highest unemployment rate in November, at 20%.
The youth unemployment rate was 24.4% in the eurozone, and 23.7% in the wider European Union. Youth unemployment - among people under 25 - was highest in Greece (57.6%), followed by Spain (56.5%).
Overall unemployment was lowest in Austria (4.5%), Luxembourg (5.1%) and Germany (5.4%).
As European countries trade with each other one man's high unemployment becomes another man's. It is like being in quicksand being puilled under to a certain death. The only unknown factor in the EU is when and how past death will come.Opinion:
The figures are not set to improve at any time in the near future. As countries such as the UK try to balance the books by hitting those on welfare, many people will be resigned to a life in poverty. If there are not enough jobs to go around unemployment is a fact of life.The obscene cost of the new ECB building, widely called the EU palace, in Germany, is one more slap in the face for citizens of Europe. The MEPs and bureautcrats continue to spned money as if it was going out of fsahion whils hitting the poorest in European countries and preaching austerity. By the time riots and revolution is on the streets of course that elusive 1% will be holed up somewhere, well out of reac,h counting their jewels and gold.
The US have been struggling to broker a tax and spending deal which Democrats and Republicans can agree on. The deadline for the so called fiscal cliff, one of many in the US over the years, passed with many Americans being pushed over the edge. As the midnight New Year's Eve deadline passed no agreement was reached. Perhaps it was rather that an agreement was on the
way but not fully agreed and able to be signed into law.What politicians thought Americans and the World would make of this last minute wrangling is unclear. For sure it did not make any of them look more appealing. Many Americans began 2013 with negativity and uncertainty hanging over their heads. The tax hikes kicked in as soon as the deadline was passed, although now that a deal is agreed that will be rescinded.After the Senate passed the deal on Tuesday it was a wait and see period of time until the House of Representatives had their say. The vote came late Tuesday and the deal was passed albeit with a lesser majority than in the Senate.
The bill was passed in the House of Representatives by 257 votes to 167.The BBC reported,
The bill was "just one step in the broader effort to strengthen the economy" said President Obama
After pressure to agree a deal before the Markets opened today after the Christmas break, "Financial markets have responded positively to the move.
In Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index opened up 2.1% on Wednesday morning, while South Korea's Kospi added 1.7% and Australia's ASX 200 rose 1.2%.
UK shares jumped 1.5% on opening, German stocks gained by 1.6%, while France's Cac 40 rose 1.4% and Italy's stocks gained 2%."
The Bill, although widely accepted as the best deal possible, is bound to have its attackers. Such is politics. You can never please all of the voters. Both sides have compromised. In the end although Republicans maintained that their efforts had the best interest of the US economy at heart they began to look simply churlish, intent on protecting the more wealthy of society.
Spending cuts will have to be implemented somewhere along the line. Just where the "axe" will fall will take more heated debate. Getting it wrong could lead to a dip in incomes for those who can least afford to take a hit but it could also jeopardise the US economy and ultimately other countries around the world that trade with America.
That said it is estimated that the USA has $17trillion worth of debt. That means that sooner or later something will have to give. Today's Bill only offers respite for the next two months and then that dreaded fiscal cliff will be approached once more.
The Eurozone looks set for more bad news today, September 15, 2011.
As the dream of a single European market gradually turns into a nightmare the Eurozone stumbles from one piece of bad news to another.
France and Germany have insisted that Greece is an "integral" part of the Eurozone, although this week many predicted Greece was about to jump ship. Today a leading European economics official, Olli Rehn, will make more gloomy predictions about Europes single currency. It is thought he will cut his forecasts for economic growth in the Eurozone.
He spoke to the Euorpean Parliament yesterday saying, "Let me say a word to those suggesting that Greece would be better off outside the euro. I very strongly disagree. Neither Greece nor the eurozone would be better off. Whatever way you look at it, it is absolutely certain that a default and/or exit of Greece from the eurozone would carry dramatic economic and social and political costs, not only for Greece but also for all other euro area member states and EU member states, as well as for our global partners."
Its obvious really when you think about it. Europe has thrown money at Greece as if it was going out of fashion. Such moves must surely demonstrate that Europe needs Greece. If it did not by now it would have cut its ties and stopped offering bail-outs.
The European marekt has left so many countries dependent on each other that splitting the EU up now is not an option. It may be that in time it will be. In time it may be the only way. For now a different solution is needed. Let's hope those in pwer find one soon.
While Rehin was addressing Parliament Angela Merkel for Germany, Nicolas Sarkizy for France and George Papandreou for Greece were holding a three-way phone conversation. After the call they issued a joint statement saying, "Putting into place commitments of the (bailout) programme is essential for the Greek economy to return to a path of lasting and balanced growth."
The latest from Athens Greece is that it will need 8 billion Euros to pay next months wages and so debt default is likely in the coming weeks.
Last night Rome was the scene of protests as Italy's government passed austerity measures to tackle that country's debts.
In true political hypocrisy President Obama has said that "the eurozone needs better fiscal coordination" Get your own house in order first springs to mind. The second thought is, stop dragging European countries into expensive Wars Mr President. We all seem to have enough money to destroy these days but little to spare for anything that is constructive.