ATHENS – The International Labor Organization (ILO) said Greece’s government needs an immediate plan to boost jobs during near-record joblessness exacerbated by austerity measures imposed on orders of international lenders.
In its Productive Jobs for Greece study presented Nov. 24 in the Greek capital, the ILO said unemployment and other policies have combined to create poverty and misery and something needs to be done about it.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras last year promised to create jobs for 75,000 Greeks under 25 in January this year but it never materialized.
“Greece is at a critical juncture and to set the country on a sustainable recovery path, urgent measures to support people and firms are needed, “ said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder. “Such measures should be defined in a tripartite setting bringing together government, employers and workers.”
The ILO called for a strategy that combines emergency measures to combat the deteriorating social situation and actions to boost employment.
“The emergency measures include an activation guarantee to all young jobseekers and groups most in need, the nurturing of “social economy” enterprises as avenues for job creation, improved access to credit for small businesses, and a review of the pace and policy mix of fiscal consolidation so as not to undermine recovery efforts,” said the organization.
The study suggested:
-Broadening the economic base
-Tackling undeclared work and working poverty
-Ensuring adequate coverage of the social protection system
-Enhancing human capital and rebuilding social dialogue between government, employers and workers.
“The proposed shift to a new growth and employment strategy is based on an analysis of best international practices adapted to the specific situation of Greece. A more comprehensive approach is possible,” said Ryder.
“To make it a reality, the ILO stands ready to cooperate with the Greek government and social partners, and with the European Commission, as key actors of an urgent job-rich recovery.”