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Jobs vanish, it's a nightmare for the unemployed

Last updated on: August 2, 2012 08:38 IST

Jobs vanish, it's a nightmare for the unemployed

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The unemployment rate in the euro zone has hit the highest since 1995 with the economic crisis forcing many companies to slash jobs.

From 1995 till 2012, the unemployment rate averaged 9.2 per cent in the Euro area reaching an all time high of 11.1 percent in May 2012 and a record low of 7.2 per cent in February 2008.

The lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria (4.1%), the Netherlands (5.1%), Luxembourg (5.4%) and Germany (5.6%), and the highest in Spain (24.6%) and Greece (21.9% in March 2012), according to Eurostat.

Manuel Sastre , a former electrician and plumber, has been asking for money on the streets since he became unemployed two years ago, at the age of 57. 

He said:"I got my first job at 14 and after so many years all of a sudden I was no good for any employers anymore. What is more important, experience or youth?" The sign next to him reads: "I'm from Madrid. I'm homeless and unemployed. Would you help me? It's not mandatory. Thank you."

Joblessness in the euro zone hit on Tuesday its highest level since the single currency was born, a further sign of economic desperation as hopes erode that the bloc will be saved by its central bank this week.

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Image: Manuel Sastre, 59, lights a cigarette as he asks for money in central Madrid.
Photographs: Susana Vera/Reuters.

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The unemployment rate in Spain was last reported at 21.5 percent, a record 4.9 million people without jobs.

The industrial costal town of Barakaldo has 18% unemployment and the benefits budget has been reduced by half in the last year, according to Berri-Otxoak.

The sign on the cross reads, "The town hall buries social rights".

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Image: Txera Alonso, a volunteer from the pressure group Berri-Otxoak takes part in a
Photographs: Vincent West/Reuters.

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Silva and his wife Leonor on Wednesday set the caravan on fire in protest of the eviction conducted by the Lisbon city police.

The couple, along with their two daughters, have been living in the caravan for 21 months as they have no money to rent an apartment.

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Image: Mateus Silva, 25 and unemployed, and his wife Leonor, upturn their caravan while city police officers arrive to evict him in the Nossa Senhora de Fatima neighborhood.
Photographs: Rafael Marchante/Reuters.
Tags: Leonor , Silva , Lisbon

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A former salesman, Abel has been unemployed for more than two years. He has decided to leave his family and move to Germany to work in a Spanish restaurant. 

His family hopes to join him if his wife can find a job. Abel arrived in Munich with 250 euros ($307) in his pocket.  

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Image: Jose Manuel Abel, 46, cries as he waits to catch a flight to Munich at El Prat airport in Barcelona.
Photographs: Marcelo del Pozo/Reuters.

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Public health workers take part in a protest against government austerity measures in Madrid.

The placard reads, "We sink the country!"

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Image: Public health workers take part in a protest.
Photographs: Juan Medina/Reuters.
Tags: , Madrid

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Florian Mendez, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, said she could not make her mortgage payments after losing her job.

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Image: Josefina Florian Mendez (front R) is embraced by a supporter after she was evicted from her apartment in Madrid.
Photographs: Juan Medina/Reuters.

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Costa, who is originally from Angola, supports himself with two jobs.

In the morning he works part time with Santa Casa, a Portuguese charity, that provides him with a salary of 200 euros ($243) a month and sells marionettes in the afternoon. 

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Image: Jose Costa, 50, lights a cigarette in a bar after selling his marionettes on the street in Lisbon.
Photographs: Rafael Marchante/Reuters.

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Spanish workers blocked streets and railways in Madrid in protests against new austerity measures they said hurt ordinary people more than the bankers and politicians blamed for the country's economic crisis.

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Image: A civil service worker holds up a placard depicting a parody of Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy during a protest over government austerity measures.
Photographs: Paul Hanna/Reuters.
Tags: , Madrid

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Every day, through the informal group four men and a young woman feed all comers - mostly immigrants and others without jobs - thanks to donations.

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Image: Volunteers of the "O Allos Anthropos" (The Fellow Man) group eat food portions at a soup kitchen for the poor in Athens.
Photographs: John Kolesidis/Reuters.
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According to local unions, the demonstration throughout the country was to fight against the loss of jobs as well as to demand for better social rights and policy changes.

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Image: A demonstrator shouts slogans against the government during a protest opposite the Portuguese parliament in Lisbon.
Photographs: Rafael Marchante/Reuters.
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Spain called on Monday for the European Central Bank to fight financial market pressures on the euro zone, and Italy said more must be done to shore up the bloc after the Greek election result failed to ease the strain on both countries.

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Image: Two people sleep outside a closed down business in Madrid.
Photographs: Susana Vera/Reuters.

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Insolvent German drugstore chain Schlecker closes down its 2,800 stores across Germany today, with about 13,200 of its employees out of work.

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Image: Empty shelves are pictured during the last day of the closing down sale at a Schlecker drugstore in Munich.
Photographs: Michaela Rehle/Reuters.
Tags: , Germany

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Due to the economic crisis, the Basque Autonomous Comunity (CAV) is one of the few regions of Spain to have an Oferta Publica de Empleo (Public Sector Employment Offer), and the exams have drawn 10,000 job seekers from outside the Basque Country.

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Image: A woman studies before taking the Basque Government public health service (Osakidetza) exams at the Bilbao Exhibition Center (BEC) in Barakaldo.
Photographs: Vincent West/Reuters.

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Italy's headline jobless rate has been running below the euro zone average, but analysts say the real challenge for Italy is to increase its chronically low rates of employment and participation in the labour market, which are among the lowest in the industrialized world, especially among women, the young and the elderly.

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Image: A man checks job offers outside a recruitment agency in downtown Milan.
Photographs: Alessandro Garofalo/Reuters.
Tags: Italy

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Italy's headline jobless rate has been running below the euro zone average, but analysts say the real challenge for Italy is to increase its chronically low rates of employment and participation in the labour market, which are among the lowest in the industrialized world, especially among women, the young and the elderly.

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Image: People check job offers outside a recruitment agency in downtown Milan.
Photographs: Alessandro Garofalo/Reuters.
Tags: Italy

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Financial market euphoria over a European bailout for Spain's debt-stricken banks faded quickly on Monday as investors sounded the alarm over its impact on public debt and bondholders, and eyed the next risks in the euro zone's debt crisis.

EU and German officials said Spain faces supervision by international lenders after the deal to lend Madrid up to 100 billion euros ($125 billion), contradicting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy who insisted the cash came without such strings.

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Image: A couple looks at the window of a closed store next to graffiti that reads "Thieves" on the wall of the savings bank Cajastur in Madrid.
Photographs: Susana Vera/Reuters.

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Spain's number of registered jobless rose for the eighth straight month in March as companies in all areas of the economy continued to lay off staff in an effort to survive a deepening crisis.

The number of registered unemployed rose by 0.8 percent in March from a month earlier, or by 38,769 people, leaving 4.75 million people out of work, data from the Labour Ministry showed.

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Image: People enter a government employment office in Madrid.
Photographs: Juan Medina/Reuters.

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Unemployed men lie in sleeping bags during a protest organized by pressure group Berri Otxoak "to visualize the effects of social services cuts and evictions" in front of the town hall in the Spanish Basque town of Barakaldo.

The unemployment rate in Spain was last reported at 21.5 percent, with record levels of evictions for non-payment of mortgages.

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Image: Unemployed men lie in sleeping bags.
Photographs: Vincent West/Reuters.

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The government of Romania - the EU's second-poorest member state, where the average wage is less than 400 euros ($530) a month - cut salaries and raised tax to plug its budget gap.

The debt crisis now ravaging the euro zone has seen governments cut spending, including to welfare programmes, and raise taxes. Unemployment is rising and many Europeans are planning for a bleaker future.

The banner reads "I am looking for work I beg you to help me with something to eat or give me something to work I thank you from all my heart God bless you and protect you from all bad things." 

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Image: A man holds a banner as he sits on a bench in Bucharest.
Photographs: Radu Sigheti/Reuters.
Tags: , Romania , EU

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Paco and his wife Mercedes, 45, who had been living together in the 10 square metre vaulted space for more than two years, were evicted under orders of Madrid's City Council and moved to a flat in the city after repeatedly refusing to go to a homeless shelter.

Madrid's mayor Alberto Ruiz Gallardon called for a state law change to clear the streets of homeless people as long as there were resources to care for them at shelters.

Gallardon clarified that his intentions were to protect the dignity and health of the homeless and not for aesthetic reasons.

 



Image: Paco, 59, pack his belongings as he is evicted from his home, a small opening on a wall adjacent to Madrid's Toledo bridge.
Photographs: Susana Vera/Reuters.

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