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EU Faces More Social Unrest In The Future

Posted on: 10.06.2013    11:58:11


We all remember the old joke. Line up 3 economists and get 4 opinions and forecasting economic outcomes is equally challenging.Social Unrest to rise in Europe

We predicted social unrest as far back as 2009 and to be honest had expected it to be far worse than it is today. We have been surprised by the forbearance of most citizens.

The European Union now faces the highest risk of social unrest in the World, such as strikes and riots, than anywhere else in the world as the gap between rich and poor widens.

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO)’s annual World of Work Report, the EU is the most likely area in the world to endure more strikes, work stoppages, protests, riots and demonstrations, in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

It comes as no surprise that the countries in the EU with the highest risk of social unrest are Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain. Do not be surprised if France becomes more active.

These countries have some of the highest unemployment rates in the EU. Greece’s youth jobless rate stands around 65% while in Spain the percentage of young people without a job hovers around the 60% mark.

Meanwhile, countries like Belgium, Germany, Finland, Slovakia and Sweden that have experienced improvements to employment rates and economic stability have reduced the risk of social unrest. Ireland, the darling of austerity, acted early, honestly and robustly and would appear to have turned the corner without social unrest. In part this is through exporting unemployment to places like Australia where Irish talent has been welcomed. Most who leave were employed but the void was filled by local talent.

It is the in-work figures that are crucial. If an economy can be seen to be moving in the right direction with the appearance of improvement the tolerance of the individual is surprisingly high. Obfuscation by politicians in an attempt to make light of reality no longer works and when the cracks appear and economies are shown to be basket cases the people want their say.

Why the public sector does not harness the skills of the private sector to drive up employment and equally drive down unemployment is a question that only the politicians can answer.

As an international recruitment agency endeavoring to move skills around the globe to where they are needed we met bureaucratic and political resistance every day. This usually manifests itself by inaction and denial and everybody eventually gets a headache from banging their head against a brick wall and moves on.

Why will be bringing more Polish workers into the UK later this month? I know, my clients know, and the politicians know but only the politicians can do something about it.

We live in a funny old world.

 

Author: Chris Slay

 

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