Self Esteem-a mess in Spain
Bailing out Spain or not will be on investors lips later this year. Meanwhile, the huge economic problems of Spain are hitting the unemployed, especially the young population. The “lost” generation is about to lose all faith in the social system. Austerity is now a reality. From Bloomberg.
More than 4 million Spaniards are jobless in a double-diprecession that is hitting young people hardest. More than half of 15-to-24 year-olds are unemployed, and 37 percent of those 25 to 34 live with their parents. Rather than starting families and building careers, many young people spend their days playing video games and watching television. As their skills stagnate, they risk falling behind permanently, said Katherine Newman, a sociologist and dean at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
“For the rest of their lives, they’re damaged,” said Newman, who has written about labor and families in Spain. “They don’t recover occupationally, their earnings are depressed for 20 years, they don’t marry at the same rate.”
Joblessness, combined with the destruction of household savings, “tears the social fabric apart,” she said.
Pepe de Uriarte, 32, an unemployed publicist in Madrid, spends his days looking for jobs online, preparing gazpacho, playing golf and watching television. He has memorized the afternoon broadcast schedule and calls himself “president of the TV watchers’ club.” If he doesn’t find another job before his 1,000 euro-a-month ($1,200) unemployment insurance runs out, he said he may end up moving in with his parents.
“I am still a little bit like Peter Pan, because I can’t plan,” he said. “I stopped my life when I was 25 years old. I can’t set up a family, I can’t buy a house, I can’t do anything.”
Spain’s system of temporary job contracts is at the root of its record unemployment, which is more than double the average of the 27 countries in the European Union, said Juan Dolado, an economics professor at the Carlos III University in Madrid.
Temporary contracts were created in the 1980s as a way for employers to avoid signing workers to permanent, full-time agreements, which required 45 days of severance pay for every year worked. Because temporary employees received only eight days’ severance, companies preferred workers on short-term contracts and, by 2007, they made up 33 percent of the Spanish workforce, Dolado said.
Full article here.