Jobless young people in Portugal told to look abroad

Jobless young people in Portugal told to look abroad

Jobless young people in Portugal told to look abroad

As jobless rates continue to soar in Portugal, the country’s Prime Minister has angered many by declaring that young people without a job should show more initiative and seek employment abroad.

Economic recession and the current debt crisis have pushed unemployment figures to a critical level. Pedro Passos Coelho seems to have hit a nerve even within his own party. Social Democrat Marcelo Rebelo De Sousa lashed out by saying that the people of Portugal were not interested in a leader who simply says to those without work that if they can’t find a job at home they should look in another country.

In the spring of this year the level of unemployment for those under the age of 24 hit 36.6 per cent. The jobless rate for the whole country was 15.2 per cent which suggests there is a severe crisis, especially for the young. According to Eurostat, youth unemployment in 2000 stood at 9.6 per cent.

Leading socialist, Antonio Barreto, explained that young people in Portugal are beginning to realise that there is a significant difference between freedom and opportunity. He said that 40 years ago he may have had less liberty, but that he definitely had more opportunities offered to him.

Emigration as a way of escaping the economic problems in Portugal has now returned to the levels it was at in the 1960s and 1970s with as many as 150,000 people estimated to have gone overseas last year out of a population of 10 million.

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