World Bulletin / News Desk
Greece's jobless rate scaled a new record high in April, data showed on Thursday, providing gloomy news for the hard-pressed coalition government that emerged from the country's rerun election in June.
Greece is suffering a fifth year of recession and depends on financial aid from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, which have imposed budget cuts that have caused a wave of corporate closures and triggered job losses.
Unemployment hit 22.5 percent in April, up from an upwardly revised 22 percent in March, with 1.109 million people out of work, ELSTAT, Greece's statistics service said. It was a sharp rise from 16.2 percent in April last year.
"Some temporary support may be provided over the summer months, especially from the tourism sector," said Platon Monokroussos, an economist at EFG Eurobank.
"However, given the fact that the jobless rate is a lagging indicator of broader economic activity, unemployment may not have reached its peak yet."
The conservative-led coalition government is struggling to reconcile the need for painful austerity in line with its bailout deal from international lenders with the need to keep social peace among its recession-ravaged population. A deputy minister resigned on Monday saying the government was not pressing hard enough for relief from harsh bailout conditions.
Tourism, a key sector which accounts for about one in five jobs, is expected to turn out weak this year and revenue tumbled by 15.1 percent in the first quarter.
The sharp deterioration in the Greek labour market, coupled with steep cuts in pay and pensions prescribed by the European Union and International Monetary Fund, has fuelled growing social anger.
Unemployment in Greece is twice the average for the 17 countries sharing the euro, which stood at 11.1 percent in May, and is fast approaching that of Spain, which hit 24.4 percent in the first quarter.
More than half of Greeks aged 15-24 are without work.
A controversy surfaced recently after the Public Account Committee (PAC) released a report accusing senior government officials of having fraudulently authorized payment of at least $122 million of public funds to a private company
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Rafael Ramirez left the meeting visibly angry and declined to comment on the outcome.
A number of potential deals under discussion in recent months could benefit from concessional financing from Tokyo.
The WTO has lurched from one disappointment to another over the past decade as it tries to find a balanced trade deal that all its members, now numbering 160, could support.
Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said he expected the oil market "to stabilise itself eventually" but did not comment on talks with Russia held on Tuesday
Ergun Olgun, the Turkish Cypriot negotiator, said their own exploration would continue and even accelerate if Greek Cypriots pressed ahead with their plans to allow multinationals to exploit the area.
The decision to devalue the naira, according to analysts and central bank figures, appears aimed at saving the country's dwindling foreign reserves
Oil market watchers are divided on the outcome of OPEC's meeting in the Austrian capital. Predictions range from a large production cut to revive prices, to a small reduction, or none at all
The proliferation of smugglers' routes into Bolivia shows how difficult it is to eradicate illegal mining without better coordination across frontiers.
Falling crude prices are fueled by slowing global growth and increased supply.
Ukraine's leading banks said most of their loans to Crimean individuals and businesses were now delinquent.
Deputy Energy Minister Jaime Himende said that "Mozambique has great hydroelectricity potential, and recently they have taken some bold steps to use renewable resources efficiently"
Obama, who hosted Modi in Washington in September, will in January become the first U.S. president to visit India twice, completing a remarkable warming in the relationship
The combined damage inflicted on Russia's economy by Western sanctions and falling oil prices totals about $140 billion.
PM Mahlab said that Egypt eyes sustainable growth to improve the living conditions of Egyptians, noting that the Egyptian economy is currently recovering.
The French economist calls for redistribution of global wealth, which he says is too concentrated in the hands of the few.