Reading and learning so much in all of my classes and especially in the JSIS Study Abroad Seminars about the social and political conditions that the people in Greece are struggling with and through.
Yesterday we learned that there is currently a 28% unemployment rate and of that 60% of the unemployed are under 24 years old. The government has also been downsized as one of the results of cutting back on austerity–government funding on public services, so with the university-aged unemployed there are professional-aged unemployed vying in the same economic market for a limited pool of jobs.
The economic crisis that we just experienced in the United States, wherein at the beginning we saw the Occupy Movement and the housing crisis with the government sponsored bail-out; our unemployment rate only reached approximately 10% or so. The closest that we have ever been to a 28% unemployment rate was during the Great Depression in the 1930’s with 1/4 of the country out of work. I am sure that most of us are all familiar with the images of both of those American crises. So, I am sure that it is not hard to imagine the economic pressure that the people in Greece are dealing with right now.
In addition to all of this is the very real concern of migration, which undoubtedly ads into the pool of those in competition for skilled-labor and service industry jobs. Just as I am sure that you are all aware, in the United States, immigration tends to become a major concern when we are faced with economically stringent times, the same is true elsewhere.
These are many of the types of conditions that I will be doing research on this summer.