Greece Readies Austerity Budget as Unemployment Rises

Posted October 1st, 2012 at 6:35 am (UTC-5)
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Greece's finance minister is set to put the latest round of austerity measures to the country's parliament, and to meet with its creditors in an effort to secure a new round of needed bailout funds.

Yannis Stournaras will present the cuts Monday along with a proposed 2013 budget.

He is also due to meet with officials from the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Union, which must sign off on $17 billion in cuts before giving out the rescue loans.

Meanwhile, the EU has released new unemployment statistics showing the jobless rate in Greece jumped higher in the past year than in any other nation in Europe.

The data shows unemployment is plaguing the continent, with more than 25 million people in the European Union out of work.

The unemployment rate held steady at 11.4 percent in August compared to July. The report said unemployment in the 27-member EU rose by more than 2 million people since August 2011.

In addition to Greece, the highest jobless rates were in Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Slovakia.

Budget crises have forced Greece, Ireland and Portugal to secure international bailouts, and analysts say the Spanish government could be next.

The unemployment problem is worse for people under the age of 25. The data shows Spain's overall jobless rate at 25 percent, while more than half of its young people are out of work. Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Slovakia have youth unemployment rates over 30 percent.

Meanwhile, six countries are showing improvements in their overall job market. Estonia's unemployment rate dropped from 13 to 10 percent in the past year, while Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary and Romania also showed improvement.