The World Cup is being held this month in Brazil. We could talk about its consequences in the country, but we prefer to talk about an issue that is really serious and one that, unfortunately, European countries -take heed Platini- really can consider themselves World Champions: Youth unemployment. The top 10 in the world ranking is established by the ILO, not FIFA, and, therefore, the data is more reliable.
The tenth position if occupied by the four times world champion, Italy. The situation for young people in Italy is gradually improving but, even so, the figures are very bleak at 39%.
The ninth place goes to Mauritania (42%). While its appearance in sporting events is fleeting, their unemployment rate among the new generations is really off side.
Eighth is Serbia (49%). The situation of young people in the former Yugoslavia is tragic; the same can be said of their neighbours, Croatia, which occupies sixth place with an unemployment rate of 51.5%. Hopefully, the Croatian press will take this matter as seriously as the penalty the Japanese referee awarded during the opening match of the world cup.
The seventh position is for Libya with almost 51%. It is surprising how one of the lands where the Arab spring -triggered by young people- had such a tremendous impact that they even took up arms to overthrow Qaddafi. Well, Spain far exceeds them.
Fifth goes to Macedonia (52.2%). While Macedonia does not have a great football tradition, it does have the shameful ‘privilege’ of being fifth in the world regarding youth unemployment.
Fourth goes to South Africa (53.6%), as the champion of youth unemployment in Africa, interestingly one of the most developed countries in Africa.
Now the podium. After two UEFA European Championships and a World Cup, Spain (57.3%) has won bronze, missing out on second place by very little. If we should win the Cup, we could use the 720,000 euros that each player would earn to lower our youth unemployment rate by a decimal point or two; there is no way we can boast about an unemployment rate.
Greece (58.4%) is ranked second. This silver medal has earned the Greek Prime Minister wide-ranging protests. It seems that the UEFA European Championship they won a few years ago was not enough.
And the winner is… Bosnia Herzegovina! (60.5%) It is some time now since they qualified for a World Cup, but as far as youth unemployment is concerned, they have been permanent participants, unfortunately. We hope that for the next World Cup, European countries will be occupying the top positions in this ranking and that youth unemployment will be conspicuous by its absence.