Mercoledì, 19 Settembre 2018

Youth-unemployment efforts accelerate in Rome


(By Christopher Livesay)
Rome, June 14 - The economy and labor ministers
from the eurozone's four largest economies met in Rome Friday to
discuss escalating youth unemployment in the crisis-stricken
bloc and possible solutions, one of which includes tens of
billions of euros in new financing for small businesses.
"We have no time left," said Premier Enrico Letta at the
meeting, according to sources from his office.
"We must act immediately".
A record 12.2% of the eurozone's working population is
unemployed, while youth unemployment in the bloc is double at
In Italy it is a record 12%, with around four in 10
Italians aged 15-to-24 out of work.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
(OECD) believes both will go up next year.
Economy and labor ministers from Germany, France, Italy and
Spain attended the meeting, entitled Jobs for Youth - Building
Opportunities, Opening Paths.
After the meeting, Italy's economy minister said the
ministers had agreed that the European Investment Bank (EIB)
should use a capital increase towards creating up to 60 billion
euros in financing for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Fabrizio Saccomanni said "there was consensus on finding
new financing channels for SMEs" and on the need for "the EIB,
which had a capital increase of 10 billion euros last year, to
use (these funds) in an innovative way, multiplying the capital
base up to a maximum of 60 billion euros".
Distinct from the European Central Bank (ECB), the EIB is
the EU's nonprofit long-term lending body, whose shareholders
are member states.
Ahead of the meeting, the Italian premier made clear that
more than just talk was expected from the meetings.
"We will not settle for words or declarations...That is the
problem with Europe today that has distanced institutions from
citizens," Letta said.
The jobs meeting was scheduled ahead of a European Union
summit on June 27-28 which is expected to have the employment
crisis high on its agenda; as well as a youth-unemployment
conference in Berlin on July 3; and a G20 ministerial meeting in
Moscow in mid-July.
Letta has vowed that Italy will have a national action plan
against youth unemployment in place before this issue is
addressed at June's EU summit, which he successfully campaigned
for at an EU summit on May 22, his debut as premier on the
European stage.
On that same day, national statistics agency Istat reported
that Italy has Europe's highest proportion of young people doing
"nothing", with almost a quarter of 15-to-29-year-olds not in
education, employment or training (NEET).

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