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From The Socialist newspaper, 5 June 2013

Mass joblessness wrecks lives! Youth must fight for a future

Ian Pattison, Youth Fight for Jobs
Youth Fight for Jobs protest against Workfare in Stratford's Westfield shopping centre in London 25 February 2012, photo Senan

Youth Fight for Jobs protest against Workfare in Stratford's Westfield shopping centre in London 25 February 2012, photo Senan   (Click to enlarge)

In Sweden, where youth unemployment is 24%, riots have struck the capital Stockholm. Rage has exploded onto the streets following police repression and racism and decades of neoliberal attacks and privatisation in an increasingly unequal society.

Unemployment, at 12%, and youth unemployment, at 24%, have both reached a record high in the eurozone.

In Italy, 40% of youth are unemployed. In Spain, more than half of young people are out of work. Tragically in Greece, two thirds of youth are jobless, contributing to rapid rises in homelessness and suicides.

No one can deny this is a disaster for humanity. Europe is sinking under the weight of austerity.

One million young people are unemployed in Britain, with millions more now underemployed, in and out of work, facing terrible conditions, zero hour contracts, low pay, and barely enough income to survive.

Surely, then, it can only be promising that European Union leaders have been seeking a solution to mass youth unemployment?

Germany's pro-big business finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, starkly warned that if young people were made to pay for the crisis through further cuts, it would bring "revolution...on the very same day".

So what solutions do the EU leaders have? None.

Another forum, headed by former US president Bill Clinton, championed privatisation of education - and big profits for greedy private sector vultures - as their preferred option to somehow reducing unemployment.

Clearly young people will have to look elsewhere for ideas about how a decent future with jobs and education can be realised.

But Schaeuble is correct on one thing - the continued slaughter of jobs and the even further impoverishment of a section of workers and youth are making a whole generation angry.

Schaeuble, German chancellor Angela Merkel, and their super-rich counterparts in Britain don't have to look far for the consequences of their vicious cuts policies.

Thousands have taken to the streets in Turkey, which exploded following police brutality.

Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) offers an effective way for angry young people to organise themselves in action.

YFJ explains that the trade unions could provide a powerful attraction to young people if they took decisive action on pay, jobs and apprenticeships with real jobs.

The call for a 24-hour general strike against austerity would give an immediate authority to the trade unions among young people who at this stage can often see no hope for their future.

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In The Socialist 5 June 2013:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Food bank Britain: Con-Dems turn the clock back

NSSN conference : Unite to fight all the cuts

Legal aid cuts: Justice in the balance

Continued deterioration of the Labour Party

Them & Us

Youth feature

Mass joblessness wrecks lives! Youth must fight for a future

A day in the life of a Primark employee

NHS feature

NHS crisis: Turn anger into action

International socialist news and analysis

Turkey: Mass movement challenges Erdogan's authoritarian government

Socialist Party workplace news

PCS rolling strike programme

97% vote for strike action at Carling brewery

Thera Trust: the campaign moves up a gear

Unison and Labour: Welsh government cuts are still cuts

Lecturers' union UCU members vote to fight austerity

Workplace news in brief

Socialist history

1983: A political voice for the working class

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Campaigning against the bedroom tax

Stopping the BNP in London

EDL blocked by counter demo

Standing for TUSC in Woolston, Southampton

Save the Independent Living Fund

Needed: new social housing NOT unaffordable rents

Support the Fighting Fund collectathon!

Socialist Party national organisers' school

Readers' comments

Stop drone attacks!

Crackdown on democratic rights


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