Welcome, 77 artists, 40 different points of Attica welcomes you by singing Erotokritos an epic romance written at 1713 by Vitsentzos Kornaros

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Spanish unemployment: Indignant, undignified

JOSÉ GARCIA used to work as a doorman. But two years ago he lost his job. Since then the 62-year-old has lived off unemployment insurance built up when he was working. This month it runs out. Now he hopes for €426 ($550) a month in long-term state subsidy. With unemployment above 27%, he does not expect to work again. “I’ll keep looking, but the queue will always be long,” he says.The jobless rate is unlikely to drop below 25% before he claims his pension at 65. The prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, hopes to turn the jobs corner before the next election in late 2015, but his record so far is dismal. Over the past 17 months 1.2m jobs have gone, taking the total lost since 2007 to over 6m. Net job growth needs GDP growth above 1%, yet the government does not predict that until 2016. In the European Union only Greece’s jobless figures are worse. And in southern provinces such as Cadiz the rate is above 40%. Among under-25s, the figure is a horrific 57%.Some analysts say these figures hide a large underground economy. That may be true, although Visa Europe reckons that it is no bigger than the European average and, with the decline of construction, is contracting. But even...