The crisis has hit Greece hard but none are harder hit than its young people. With nearly 60% unemployed – many are living in limbo – waiting for their lives to start. Daniel Howden and Yiannis Baboulias report from Athens on the stark choices facing a generation.
There is little patriotic encouragement to be found in the official statistics. Greece’s jobless army now numbers more than one million according to July figures from Greece’s unemployment bureau the OAED. The numbers are bleak from almost every perspective. Unemployment among those aged 25-30 – the age by which almost everyone has formally joined the labour market – has climbed to more than 25%.
Greece’s economic descent has been deeper than the United States’s during the Great Depression, with the main difference being that as it has lost more than a quarter of its economy there is little prospect of a recovery. It has swept away old certainties – including the ambition of a safe job in the public sector.