ILO – Greece needs to address risk of a prolonged social crisis

Photo: Marina Gioti -Depression Era Greece

Photo: Marina Gioti -Depression Era Greece

Greece faces a prolonged social crisis unless action is taken, warns a new report by the International Labour Organization.

The ILO study entitled “Productive Jobs for Greece” describes the pace of job creation in the country as “anaemic,” and says that more than 70 per cent of the almost 1.3 million unemployed have been out of a job for more than a year. This is the result of one in four jobs being lost since the beginning of the crisis in 2008.

Meanwhile, the number of Greeks at risk of poverty more than doubled in five years, rising from just above 20 per cent in 2008 to over 44 per cent in 2013.

In the longer term, the study advocates the following measures:
  • Broadening the economic base by facilitating the expansion of sustainable enterprises, boosting the linkages between tourism and agro-food, and fostering employment-enhancing investments;
  • Tackling undeclared work and working poverty through a broader tax base and improved incentives for low-paid work while shifting the tax burden away from labour, small firms and consumption of basic needs towards other bases like property. This, along with much-needed mobilisation of the resources of the European Investment Bank, would also widen the policy space for the growth and employment strategy;
  • Ensuring adequate coverage of the social protection system;
  • Enhancing human capital by designing skill programmes in partnership with firms, workers and education providers; leveraging further apprenticeships and work-related experience for youth; and reinforcing public employment services and active labour market programmes;
  • Rebuilding social dialogue between government, employers and workers and addressing fragmentation of collective bargaining and gaps in coverage, so as to nurture a balanced recovery.

see full report—dgreports/—dcomm/—publ/documents/publication/wcms_319755.pdf

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