The UEFA Euro 2016 in France is just around the corner. Old World countries will start to compete in one of the most highly appreciated tournaments in world football on 10th June. As was the case with the World Cup in Brazil 2014, we shall analyse the title that no country wants to win: the ranking of the highest youth unemployment rates.
Average youth unemployment in the Eurozone stands at almost 22%. Only two years ago, this figure was slightly higher; however, through the implementation of measures, such as the Youth Guarantee, countries have applied economic plans that have slightly reduced these numbers. Despite the efforts made, the issue continues to be structural in nature and is not being tackled as it should, according to most experts.
The eleventh position is held by Ireland, with 18 %, of which, 20 % are men and 15 % are women. In 2012, this figure was 24 %. Consequently, there has been a considerable reduction. However, the National Youth Council of Ireland is still calling for measures to reduce the labour insertion gap affecting young people.
Finland is tenth on the list with youth unemployment standing at almost 22 %. If we break down these figures, 25 % are men and almost 20 % are women. The next on the list is Slovakia, ninth with almost 24 % of unemployed youths. Women, at 27 %, are more affected than men, at 22 %.
France, which will be the organiser of the Euro, 2016, is seventh with 24 %. The hosts are experiencing a situation of high social unrest due to a labour reform driven by the socialist government of Holland. Men account for 25 % and women for 22 %.
Belgium is in the quarter-finals with 24.50 % (26 % men and 22.60 % women). Another country that has made it to the semi-finals is Cyprus, around 29 % of youth unemployment. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal has dropped to the quarter finals with 31 %, where women are seriously affected as they account for 32 % of that figure.
Italy and Croatia have just missed the final with 38 % and 39 % respectively. And the grand Paris final will be played by Spain (45 %) and Greece (51 %). The Greeks, in our particular World Championship in 2014, won the silver medal and the Spanish won the bronze. Despite the fact that both have reduced their figures slightly, the strong economic crisis has had very serious consequences for young people.
The Euro 2016 of youth unemployment is a title that nobody should want to win and appear in the press. The situation of young people in Europe is unacceptable in a time of economic crisis, labour precariousness, etc. Demography is making the Old Continent just that, Old; however, not because of history, but regarding the population.
The Youth guarantee is a patch that is not helping to heal the wound and, let’s hope that, for the sake of Europe, the wound does not end up getting infected.