Greece unemployment hits highest rate in European Union

Public sector workers in Athens protesting about the threat of compulsory redundancies The Greek government is continuing with major spending cuts which are affecting the economy

The latest unemployment rate for Greece has risen to 26.8%, the highest figure recorded in the European Union (EU).

The official Greek data for October sees Greece overtake Spain as the country with the highest unemployment rate in Europe.

The Greek economy remains mired in recession and the government is in the process of imposing significant austerity measures.

Athens is cutting spending to meet the terms of its financial bailouts.

So far, the European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the European Commission have pledged a total of 240bn euros ($315bn; £196bn) in rescue loans, of which Greece has received more than two thirds.

The Greek government required the bailouts because it was struggling to meet the interest payments on its existing debts.

Under the terms of the rescue funds, Greece is having to agree to substantial spending cuts, such as redundancies and pay freezes in the public sector, and reduced pensions. This is having a major knock-on impact on the wider Greek economy.

While Greece's unemployment rate in October was 26.8%, the most recent official figure for Spain - for the month of November - was 26.6%.

Spain is also in recession, with its government having to cut spending to reduce its debts.

The BBC's Athens correspondent, Mark Lowen, said: "Greeks blame austerity for the rise, with the number of jobless more than doubling since the country was first bailed out in 2010.

"And with more spending cuts this year, many predict the rate will soon hit 30%."

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • BlueNew blue

    Meet the artist, showman and inventor who created a colour that had never existed before

Programmes

  • Art installationClick Watch

    How one artist is using computer code to turn internet radio into a unique piece of music

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.