Mario Draghi: The Man Who Would Save Europe
There is one reality for bankers, another for the rest of us. That is the lesson most easily drawn from the Jan. 10 press conference of the European Central Bank (ECB). Just hours earlier, Greece had released its latest labor statistics: a steep overall jobless rate of 26.8% masking even worse news for young Greeks, with over half of them — an astonishing 56.6% — out of work. The human toll of the country’s struggle to avoid a ragged departure from the European single currency could scarcely be starker. In 2012 the 17-nation euro zone lost more than 2 million jobs as it grappled with its fierce debt crisis. Yet the mood at the ECB, and especially of its president Mario Draghi, appeared chipper, at least by the sobersided standards of the institution and the office holder. “We spoke a lot about contagion when things go poorly, but I believe there is a positive contagion when things go well,” he said. “And I think that’s also what is in play now. There is a positive contagion.” ...
Eurozone Unemployment Rises to New Record
(BRUSSELS) — Unemployment in the 17-country eurozone rose to a record of 11.6 percent in September as large parts of the region slide toward recession. The rate reported by Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office, on Wednesday is an increase from an upwardly-revised 11.5 percent in August. Spain has the highest unemployment rate in the eurozone at 25.8 percent. Greece is not far behind at 25.1 percent, though its figure relates to July. Both countries, which are at the epicenter of Europe’s three-year debt crisis, have youth unemployment above 50 percent. Separately, Eurostat reported that inflation in the eurozone fell modestly to 2.5 percent in the year to October, from the previous month’s 2.6 percent. Inflation is still above the European Central Bank’s target of just below 2 percent. MORE: Why the Economic Outlook for Spain Is Positively Dismal