Europe’s financial crisis lurched into a perilous new phase as dire predictions emerged of a collapse in Greece’s economy, with a run on its banks bringing an inevitable end to its membership of the euro.
The statistics agency data showed unemployment rose from 20.7 percent in the previous quarter and 15.9 percent in the same period in 2011. Greece is now fast approaching the jobless plight seen in Spain, where unemployment hit 24.4 percent in the first quarter.
Young Greeks in the 15-24 age group the jobless rate was 52.7 percent, the data showed, up from 39.6 percent in the same period a year ago.
As the Greek jobless rate hit 22.6 percent in the first three months of the year – double the euro zone average.
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