SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – European Union officials have confirmed that the eurozone economy is once again in decline, Press TV reports.
Following a meeting of the finance ministers of the 18-member eurozone, known as the Eurogroup, in Luxembourg on Monday, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch finance minister and the chairman of the meeting, expressed concern about the low growth rates and inflation in the euro area.
“There are serious concerns about the pace of the global recovery, in particular the low growth and subdued inflation environment in the euro area,” Dijsselbloem said.
“Structural problems in our economies can only be addressed by structural policies, which increase the euro area’s growth potential and structural employment.”
The ministers discussed the economic crisis in the eurozone, which has caused high unemployment and increasing poverty. According to official figures, over 125 million people across the EU, about a quarter of the bloc’s entire population, either live in poverty or are at the risk of poverty.
The latest figures show that the bloc’s jobless rate stands at 11.5 percent. The unemployment rate is even worse among those aged between 15 and 24, as 23.3 percent are without work.
In spring, the European Commission forecast economic growth for the eurozone, but now official figures show the eurozone countries had zero growth in the second quarter of the current year.
Later this week, eurozone governments will submit their national budgets for 2015 to the European Commission and, in keeping in line with EU policy, the emphasis will again be on spending cutbacks and higher taxes, placing even more pressure on beleaguered citizens next year.
Europe plunged into financial crisis in early 2008. The threat of insolvency has plagued heavily debt-ridden countries such as Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland, and Spain.