Strasbourg, 30 January 2014 - Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann told members of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly today that European governments cannot allow themselves to “become accustomed” to high youth unemployment.
He said that measures already taken to save banks and to stabilize economies constituted “correct steps” but that Europe has “not done enough” to reduce unemployment.
“We must not allow the wrong people to pay the highest price of the crisis”, he proclaimed, stressing that since 2008, youth unemployment has increased in the EU by over 2 million people: from 3.5m to 5.7m.
“We must not remain indifferent when half of young people in southern Europe cannot find work.”
The Austrian chancellor warned that if nothing is done to get more young people working, Europe risks repeating the “mass unemployment, poverty and political instability” of the 1930s.
In his speech, he also condemned discrimination against homosexuals “in some Council of Europe member states”, that “legal and de facto discrimination” which violates the European Convention of Human Rights.
But he did not support calls for boycotting “an international sporting event” because such a strategy would do more to “damage international sport” than fight discrimination.
Video of the speech