Nov. 08 - As Greece faces a new set of austerity measures its jobless rate has risen to a new record high adding to fears that Greece is on a downward spiral it may not be able to escape. Sonia Legg reports
The job centre is a popular place in Athens. But the odds of finding work there aren't very high. Unemployment has just hit a new record high at 25.4 percent - and the rate has risen every month for the past three and a quarter years. George Galakos has been unemployed for two and half of them. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) 38-YEAR-OLD GEORGE GALAKOS, UNEMPLOYED SAYING: "I feel a great deal of insecurity like everyone else. I try and do what I can to find a job asking friends and acquaintances but I haven't succeeded yet. The supply is tiny and the demand is huge." It all adds to the anger over austerity. These were the scenes as parliament voted overnight on a new package of cuts. It needs to implement them in order to qualify for EU/IMF aid. The measures were passed by just three votes - averting a crisis - for the time being. But a new budget still needs to be approved on Sunday and the trioka is yet to reveal its verdict on the state of the Greek economy HSBC's Daragh Maher. (SOUNDBITE) (English) : DARAGH MAHER, HSBC, SAYING: "We always seem to move from one element to the next. It's a sequence of banana skins that we are avoiding rather than saying great we are out of the woods on Greece now so we can all move on - we are not getting that." Moving on is what many in Greece find particularly hard. And the country's statistics service offered little cheer. 1.27m Greeks were out of work in August - up 38 percent on the same period last year. A staggering 58 percent of 16 - 24-year-olds can't find a job. The latest European Commission forecast did offer some hope - the labour market should bottom out next year and improve in 2014 - assuming of course that Greece stays in the euro zone.