The Greek government announced today a series of measures to reduce unemployment among young people, who have been the most affected by unemployment in the eight years of crisis, and to counteract the brain drain, which resulted in the emigration of around 500,000 graduates in this period.
The measures announced today by the Minister of Labor, Efi Ajtsioglu, have a cost of 292 million euros and are designed to encourage the hiring of 31,500 young people, mainly graduates of up to 29 years of age.
Of this total, 112 million euros will be allocated to the subsidy of 50% of the salary cost of young graduates who are hired in the private sector for a period of one year.
The subsidy will have a limit of between 600 and 800 euros per month per person, depending on the level of graduation of the contracted.
There will also be incentives for hiring in the public sector, as well as for training and internships in the two main pillars of the country's economy, tourism and the agri-food industry, as well as in information technology, marketing and business management.
The measures announced today are part of a broader program to combat unemployment and according to Ajtsioglu, the Government will allocate in 2019 a total of 632.5 million euros to encourage the hiring of 88,500 people, around 10% of the unemployed from the country.
In the first four years of the crisis, unemployment increased abruptly, and from 9% in 2009 to 27.8% in 2013.
Youth unemployment reached 60% in that period.
When the leftist populist coalition Syriza won the elections in January 2015, unemployment affected 26.9% of the active population and 51.2% of young people.
According to the most recent data of the Greek statistics agency, Elstat, in the second quarter of 2018 unemployment had fallen to 19% of the active population and youth unemployment to 39.1%.
Despite this improvement, Greece remains the European Union member state with the highest unemployment rate and more than half of the around 300,000 jobs created in these three and a half years are part-time.