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Unemployment Reaches 1.02 Million in Greece

Unemployment reached a record 1.02 million people in Greece in the fourth quarter of 2011, rising to 20.7 percent compared to 17.7 percent in the third quarter, said the Hellenic Statistics Authority (ELSTAT).

There has been a rise of 44 percent in unemployment since the fourth quarter of 2010 amid a five-year recession. More women than men are out of a job, the unemployment rate for women is 24.5 percent, much higher than men at 17.8 percent. For young women, the unemployment rate is 44.9 percent, said ELSTAT.

"Faced with severe liquidity challenges, domestic banks are struggling to provide finance to companies whether for investments, letters of credit for trade/exports, or working capital," says the latest EU Task Force report on Greece.

The number of new business start-ups is in sharp decline. According to one survey, 60,000 enterprises are estimated to have closed since the start of the crisis to date. This number is forecast to double by the end of this year, according to the report.

The country is suffering the devastating effects of recession, austerity programmes, low growth and reduced investment in business which have resulting in increased redundancies. So far, little has been done to address this growing issue which historically always leads to negative social developments like increased crime, political unrest and personal bankruptcies.

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