GREEK Statistics Authority (ELSTAT) announced catastrophic unemployment and recession figures in its monthly report on Thursday.
ELSTAT stated that youth unemployment (15-24 years old) reached 61.7 per cent last November.
ELSTAT also said that over 1.35 million workers, 27 per cent of the total workforce, were registered as unemployed in Greece last November, up by 31.5 per cent compared to November 2011 and up by 1.5 per cent compared to last October.
In the year November 2011 to November 2012, a total of 323, 808 workers lost their jobs.
In the Athens area unemployment reached 29 per cent last November when in November 2011 it was 21.7 per cent.
ELSTAT said that the GNP in 2012 fell by 6.5 per cent, the fifth consecutive year that the GNP has fallen sharply. In the last quarter of 2012 Greek GNP reached just 40.6bn euros, the lowest for 31 months, which shows the worsening economic crisis.
Last Thursday morning about 50 students and young unemployed organised by the SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left party) picketed the private office in central Athens of the Finance Ministry’s Secretary Yiorgos Mergos in protest against his comments early in the week that the present monthly minimum wage of about 350 euros is ‘too high’. Mergos’ comments were verified earlier in the week by European Union officials who said that in 2014 the Greek minimum wage must come down.
The students and youth entered Mergos’ office and after 10 minutes they left. As they were coming out of the building along with two SYRIZA parliamentary deputies, K Barkas and V Diamantopoulos, they were set upon by squads of armed riot police who used tear gas sprays against them and beat them with their truncheons. Both the SYRIZA deputies needed medical treatment.
At the same time in the north and south of Greece, squads of riot police also attacked small farmers who were blockading national roads in protest against high petrol prices for their tractors and high taxation.
According to a small farmers’ representative, Yannis Stratis, near the northern city of Serres the riot police attacked with tear gas and made four arrests. Small farmers gathered outside the Nigrita police station demanding their release.