Greek unemployment at new record high

Greek unemployment rate hits new record high of 27.6 percent in May

Associated Press
Greek unemployment at new record high
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Unemployed Greeks wait in a long line outside an office of Labor Force Employment Organization (OAED) in Athens, Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013. The country has been surviving on rescue loans from the IMF and other eurozone countries since 2010, when it lost access to long-term debt markets. Austerity measures demanded in return for the 240 billion euro ($319 billion) bailout program have hammered the economy and seen unemployment surge to 27 percent. Greece's annual economic output is around a fifth smaller than when it entered recession in 2008. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Unemployment in Greece rose to a new record high of 27.6 percent in May, leaving almost two thirds of young people without a job, the Hellenic Statistics Authority said Thursday.

The jobless rate rose from 27 percent in April and 23.8 percent in May last year. Young people were by far the worst affected, with unemployment among job-seekers aged 15 to 24 standing at 64.9 percent.

Greece has been depending on funds from international rescue loans since May 2010, after years of profligate spending and fiscal mismanagement left it with a massive budget deficit.

In return, successive governments have imposed stringent austerity measures, including tax hikes and salary and pension cuts that have caused the economy to contract. The country is currently in the sixth year of a deep recession.

The country's bailout from the International Monetary Fund and other European countries that use the euro as their currency is delivered in installments, and Greece's finances are inspected by its creditors before each disbursement.

The latest measures Greece must push through include the firing of thousands of civil servants.

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