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EU must tackle youth unemployment: European ministers

 
 
 
 
 
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Young Spaniards protesting against the government in Madrid.

European leaders have warned that youth unemployment in the European Union (EU) must be tackled urgently, as nearly one in four young people in the bloc is out of work.

At a conference in Paris on Tuesday, ministers from France, Italy and Germany said if the issue is not addressed at once, the young people in Europe will lose faith in their governments and the EU.

“We now have to rescue an entire generation of people who are scared,” said Enrico Giovannini, Italy’s labor minister, adding, “We have the best ever educated generation in this continent, and we are putting them on hold.”

Few details have come out of the conference but the ministers said new measures like apprenticeships must be introduced. They also supported programs that will increase youth training and internships and help them move around Europe.

In March, there were 5.7 million young people without work in the 27-nation bloc, of whom 3.6 million were in the eurozone.

Polls show that in most European countries, the youth unemployment rate is twice as high as the overall rate.

In the crisis-stricken countries, the numbers are even worse. In Spain more than half of the population under the age of 25 is jobless, while the figure is 40 percent in neighboring Portugal. In Greece the unemployment rate for youths hit a record high in February at 64 percent.

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