EU Regimes Create a Dangerous Significant Minority With Nothing to Lose

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Employment office, Marbella, Spain. Courtesy: Jon Nazca

By Ann-Marie de Veer
Saturday 31 October 2015

As of September 2015, the official rate of unemployment in the European Union (EU), a political and economic union which includes 28 member states, was just over 11 per cent. While the unemployment rate in the smaller 19 member Eurozone (EZ) was marginally greater at 11.1 per cent, the unofficial figures, which exclude a myriad of creative accounting techniques used by respective regime apparatchiks to hide the true scale of unemployment, was a little over 22 per cent for both the EU and the EZ. In other words, there are 46 million people in the EU who are actually unemployed, of which 35 million reside in the EZ.

Nonetheless, all EU regimes, with a few exceptions, continue to espouse the notion that their official unemployment rates are not a serious issue: Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain all acknowledge that their high rates of unemployment have had, and will continue to have, negative consequences but their concerns are dwarfed by the majority who blissfully refute the issue is anything more than a minor cost to economic and structural reform in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). The official unemployment rate throughout the EU only counts those who formally register as unemployed: people who are unemployed and in need of unemployment benefit and/or social security payments must register to secure payment and will thus be formally counted. Those unemployed persons who are supported by others, i.e. family and/or friends; those who are unavailable, i.e. family commitments or health issues; unemployed part-timers and those who are available but not actively seeking employment, are not counted.

This discrepancy, between real and official rates of unemployment, is yet another example of collusion between EU apparatchiks and the Western mainstream media who deliberately choose to misinform the public. Fortunately, discovery of the truth no longer relies on authoritarian regimes and their sycophantic accomplices in the mainstream media.

Most EU economies are in the doldrums and are extremely unlikely to see any meaningful recovery in the near to mid-term future. The rate of long-term unemployed, i.e. those who have been unemployed for more than a year, has risen to over 49 per cent among which the young, aged 16 - 25 years, account for more than 37 per cent of the 46 million total of unemployed EU citizens. This inexorable loss of opportunities for training of the young and the subsequent loss of skills and expertise that are being eroded by the inactivity of labour is already creating a vicious circle that is threatening the ability of nation states to recover from the GFC. Thus, to an increasingly disenfranchised tranche among the EU's population, a lifetime career of unemployment has already become the norm.

While this tranche of the population may, in the eyes of the EU's authoritarian rulers who regularly run roughshod over their own people, appear to be insignificant, they are actually a cohort of society that can no longer be ignored. In fact, if the 46 million people who are unemployed include their families, estimated to be in excess of 25 million, and then add the working poor and their families, yet another 30 million, this disenfranchised tranche of the EU's population easily exceeds 100 million people. The current population of the EU is 507 million.

That is, approximately 20 per cent of the EU's population are both economically and socially disenfranchised: a significant minority by any measure.

Naturally the effects of this are already apparent: a growing group of disillusioned and disaffected people, who can never aspire to social inclusion, have already emerged. The EU is becoming a society that is increasingly fragmented: all nation states in the union have seen an increase in the number of their ghettos and poor rural regions. Similarly, the opportunities for this group to recover through investment, training, the acquisition of skills and the creation of real jobs, is diminishing fast: the EU is forecast to grow at just over one per cent in the medium term and has already entered a state of permanently depressed growth.

The truth is, the EU has created this significant minority in their own back yard. This disenfranchised tranche of the population are not just being driven to distraction by the magnitude of their plight, they are actually being driven to destruction by the authoritarian regimes that preside over them. While the majority of EU nation states remain fixated on balancing their budgets in the short term, in the mid to long-term, the outlook for this significant minority is increasingly bleak. In other words, the cost of short-term fiscal rectitude in the EU is the permanent impoverishment of no less than 20 per cent of its population.

If ever there was a group in society who have little or nothing to lose, this is it.

Just how much longer they will remain subdued is a question that must be perplexing Europe's despots.

A man who has nothing to lose is society's most dangerous creation.
Ann-Marie de Veer