Greece is showing a steady decline in its unemployment rate per quarter, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said during a summit in Milan yesterday on the issue of growth and jobs in the European Union.
Referring to Greece’s improving economy, Samaras added that, despite the high numbers of unemployment, “all forecasts – including that by the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday – show that it will soon decline at a faster rate.”
Samaras also mentioned his national plan for occupation (an initiative aimed at encouraging entrepreneurship and start-ups), as well as programs implemented by the private sector to retrain the unemployed. The government has improved its collaboration with social partners to implement specific reforms, he added, citing Greece’s absorption of the funds of the National Strategic Reference Framework, a conglomerate of programs – one of which, costing nearly 600 million euros, is currently supporting 145,000 of Greece’s unemployed.
Another program, “Guarantee for Youth,” is also under way, with a large chunk of its 170 million euros having already been disbursed; the funds will go towards 240,000 unemployed Greeks under the age of 24. In addition, Samaras said, a voucher program was being planned to help people aged 18-24 acquire work experience in the private sector.
Finally, the Greek premier called for the efficient use of funds set aside by the 2014-2020 EU monetary program to tackle unemployment within the Union. “The EU must achieve a greater leverage of funds through the European Investment Bank and other investment agencies,” he concluded.