Austerity is not the answer to unemployment, Director of the Office of the President Christos Christofides has said, in his address to an international conference of EU students on “The crisis is getting deeper. Is society under threat?”
“We consider the issue of unemployment as a very serious issue which is a time bomb in the foundations of modern society”, he told the meeting on Wednesday evening.
Today’s young generation, he noted, has the best university qualifications ever, especially when compared to previous generations.
However, young people today, he added, “have nothing to show for in terms of job stability and job security”.
According to Christofides “real measures should offer the youth real solutions in order to eradicate the social divide between the rich and the poor, the educated and the uneducated, the people with real life prospects and those with none”.
“We cannot afford to lose a generation of young people because of the injustices of the system”, he pointed out.
Since the development of this economic crisis, he said, “we have been insisting on moving away from the extreme austerity policies which have been applied so far”.
These, he said, “not only have not alleviated the problems but they have made them worse”.
“The answer to unemployment cannot be austerity. The answer must lie in measures that will promote growth as well as by applying means of true redistribution of wealth”, he stressed.
Christofides said he was pleased “that our way of thinking has been, to some extent, catching up in Europe with more and more countries arguing for growth”.
Referring to the crisis and ways out of it, he highlighted the fact that “it is difficult to be optimistic under these extreme conditions, but we think that with careful application of measures that will promote growth alongside measures that will redistribute wealth and will tidy up public finances we can gradually get out of this crisis”.
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