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Euro-zone official warns of jobless crisis

Euro-zone official warns of jobless crisis

The euro-zone's top economy official said Monday that Europe was "heading toward a social crisis" as unemployment rates rocket to a postwar record.
The European Commission predicted earlier that the jobless rate in the 16 nations that use the euro would climb to 9.9 percent this year and 11.5 percent next year _ the highest since the Second World War.
Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who led regular talks between euro-zone finance ministers on Monday, said the loss of millions of jobs would trigger a social crisis that would put millions of Europeans "into a state of despair."
"We cannot underestimate the explosive effect of such an economic crisis," he told reporters. "We're going to have to do some long and hard thinking about our social model and whether it's on the right track."
European governments face mounting public debt and deficits as they face rising social welfare costs to cover unemployment and health care benefits _ and lower tax revenues to support them.
Juncker urged companies not to lay off people prematurely saying "European firms should be aware of that responsibility" and should instead cut workers' hours.
The EU forecasts Spanish unemployment will rise to 20 percent _ with one in five workers unable to find a job _ while the jobless rate in France and Britain will climb over 3 million next year.
Germany, the region's largest economy will shed 1.5 million jobs this year and next year, it says, with some 8.5 million jobs disappearing across the 27-nation EU over two years.


Updated : 2021-07-26 03:47 GMT+08:00