Jobless young Portuguese advised to look abroad

Jobless young Portuguese advised to look abroad
Published:  5 Jul at 9 AM
As Portugal’s unemployment rate continues to rise, the nation’s prime minister has caused controversy by saying that jobless young people should seek employment abroad.

The current debt crisis and the economic recession have pushed the unemployment rate to a critical level. Prime Minister Passos Coelho appears to have angered even his own party with his comments. Social Democrat Robelo De Sousa hit back by saying that the Portuguese people were not interested in having a leader who says because there are no jobs in their own country they should look abroad.

Earlier this year, the unemployment level among those under 24 years old hit 36.6 per cent. The rate of unemployment for the whole country stood at 15.2 per cent which indicates that there is a major crisis, particularly for the young. Eurostat’s figures stated that youth unemployment was at 9.6 per cent in 2000.

Leading socialist Antonio Barreto said that young people in the country are starting to realise there is a huge difference between opportunity and freedom. He pointed out that four decades ago he possible had less liberty, but he certainly had more opportunities.

Emigration linked to escaping Portugal’s economic problems has now returned to levels seen in the 60s and 70s, with up to 150,000 people out of a 10 million population said to have gone abroad last year.