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Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week February 3, 2013

Posted by Garibaldy in Sunday Independent Stupid Statement of the Week.

Marc Coleman must be the least self-aware person in the Sindo. Some achievement.

But then there are the amateur optimists, those who break the basic ground rules of optimism: the first being that you must always be realistic how and when a recovery can happen (for Ireland, between 2016 and 2020 is realistic if the Government radically ups its game on the economy). The most important ground rule, however, is to stick to facts and fundamentals. Like the boy who cried wolf, the optimistic counterparts who use hastily assembled hearsay find their message wearing thin when it doesn’t come true. And when that happens, people begin to lose faith in any kind of optimism at all.

How do you respond to that?

Not a silly statement as such, but a highly irritating one.

Let’s start with the figures, because they’re simply horrendous. Across Europe right now, 5.5 million young people – one in five of those aged between 15 and 24 who are on the labour market – are without a job. In some individual member states, the situation is even worse.

In Spain and Greece, it’s one in every two young people on the labour market, with youth unemployment rates above 50 per cent. In Ireland, the rate is 32 per cent, which corresponds to about 61,000 young people.

This is not just a problem. It’s an existential crisis for the European Union. The economic cost has been estimated at more than €150bn a year, or 1.2 per cent of EU GDP. But how do we measure the social cost, the terrible and potentially lasting effects of unemployment on the young people themselves?

Perhaps we can make a good start to measuring the social cost by not regarding unemployment as a lifestyle choice Joan.


1. EWI - February 3, 2013

I’m reminded of the priceless dismissive comment about Irish bankers a few years ago: “slightly dim rugby players”.


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