|"Following European models doesn't mean we'll get European results. That just makes no sense. We're Americans. And it's all probably Bush's fault anyway."|
Maybe we should look over Europe before we start "Europeanizing" our economy. Oops. A little late, but not too late.
Unemployment has reached a new high in the euro zone and inflation remains well below the European Central Bank's target, stepping up pressure on EU leaders and the ECB for action to revive the bloc's sickly economy.
Joblessness in the 17-nation currency area rose to 12.2 percent in April, EU statistics office Eurostat said on Friday, marking a new record since the data series began in 1995.
With the euro zone in its longest recession since its creation in 1999, consumer price inflation was far below the ECB's target of just below 2 percent, coming in at 1.4 percent in May, slightly above April's 1.2 percent rate.
That rise may quieten concerns about deflation, but the deepening unemployment crisis is a threat to the social fabric of the euro zone. Almost two-thirds of young Greeks are unable to find work, exemplifying southern Europe's 'lost generation'.
Economists and policymakers including Germany's finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, have said the greatest menace to the unity of the euro zone is now social breakdown from the crisis, rather than market-driven factors.
In France, Europe's second largest economy, the number of jobless rose to a record in April, while in Italy, the unemployment rate hit its highest level in at least 36 years, with 40 percent of young people out of work.
No, no. Everything's fine. Just a little hiccup, a little difficulty in the implementation.