Aug. 8 - Unemployment in Greece reaches a new high, as the country's Prime Minister Antonis Samaras prepares to meet with Barack Obama in Washington. Kirsty Basset reports.
Unemployment in Greece has hit a new high. The latest survey says it reached 27.6 per cent in May, up from 27 per cent in April. Authorities predict a recovery may set in next year - but many on the streets of Athens find that hard to believe. (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) UNEMPLOYED ARGYRO ,60, SAYING: "Greece is not on the road to recovery. We've returned to the 50's. I was a child then and I know what happened, we are starting from scratch." (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) UNEMPLOYED YANNIS, WHO DID NOT WISH TO GIVE HIS LAST NAME, SAYING: "Things are getting worse day by day. Where is the growth, where are the jobs?" The economy is in its sixth straight year of recession - and years of tax rises, wages and pensions cuts continue to take their toll. (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) UNEMPLOYED YANNIS, 66, SAYING: "The business I worked for has closed. I am 66 years old, unemployed and will not get a pension. I am looking in the garbage to find something to eat." Young people have been most affected - a whopping 64.9 per cent of 15-24 year olds are out of work. The unemployment rate is well above the euro zone average, which eased to 12 per cent in June. But despite signs the euro zone as a whole may be starting to stabilise, many aren't holding out hope of a rebound anytime soon. Patrick Armstrong from Armstrong Investment Managers. (SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) MANAGING PARTNER AT ARMSTRONG INVESTMENT MANAGERS, PATRICK ARMSTRONG SAYING: "Europe's still not really addressed the core issues that led to the European crisis so I don't think we're going to have sustainable growth in Europe. You really need the ECB to do unconventional policies like every other central bank's been doing and I think a weak euro will facilitate some growth but we're not there yet." The figures come ahead of a meeting between Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House. Among other issues, they're expected to discuss Greece's ongoing efforts to reform its economy.