Unemployment Rises in Spain

 September 02, 2011
Unemployment Rises in Spain
Selah Hennessy | London
A man offers his queue ticket as people wait in line to enter a government job center in Marbella, Spain, September 2, 2011.
A man offers his queue ticket as people wait in line to enter a government job center in Marbella, Spain, September 2, 2011.
Spain's Labor Ministry says the number of people filing claims for unemployment benefits rose in August, bringing the total to 4.13 million.  European governments, like many around the world, are struggling to bolster economic growth while containing major public deficits.
#The number claiming unemployment benefits in Spain went up by more than 50,000 last month.

Spain's Labor Ministry says the hike is typical of the month of August but, nonetheless, discouraging.

"Spain has the largest unemployment rate in the euro area and one of the largest unemployment rates in the world," noted Javier Diaz-Gimenez, professor of economics at the IESE Business School in Madrid. "In fact, our employment rate currently is about twice the euro area average and about three times the unemployment rate in Germany."

Spain's unemployment rate is more than 20 percent.  For those under the age of 25, it is more than 45 percent.

But economic growth does not appear to be on the horizon.  Spain, like a number of European nations, is struggling with a major public deficit.

Greece, Portugal and Ireland have already had to borrow money from their euro neighbors in order to avoid defaulting on their debts.  It has not yet come to that in Spain, and its lawmakers want to keep it that way.

On Friday, the lower house of parliament approved an amendment to the constitution that will force the government to keep its deficit low in the future.  The legislation is now set to go to parliament's upper house.  The controversial move is aimed at calming investor fears over Spain's public finances.

Diaz-Gimenez says controlling sovereign debt means hikes in taxes and cuts in public spending, policies that do little to stimulate economic growth.

"Policymakers in Spain face this hard choice between growth and budget stability, and they are choosing budget stability because it is the lesser of the two evils," added Diaz-Gimenez.

Governments across Europe and beyond are facing a similar conundrum.

In Italy, economic experts from around the world gathered for the annual Ambrosetti Economy Forum on Friday.  Worries about recession and slow growth opened the talks, with New York University economist Nouriel Roubini warning of a "significant probability" of a double-dip recession.

Speaking from the conference, Harvard University Economics Professor Martin Feldstein says the outlook in the United States and across much of Europe is grim, not to mention Spain.

"The numbers that we've seen recently for the U.S. on manufacturing, on construction, on consumers' sentiment tell me that the odds have gotten much greater, that the U.S. is going to continue to decline, and that we are going to be in a formal recession before the end of the year," Feldstein noted.  "In Europe, again I don't think you can talk about a single outlook for Europe.  Germany is strong, Greece is in terrible shape, Spain has 20-plus percent unemployment.  So some of the countries are already in economic downturn here in Europe."

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday that nonfarm payroll employment was unchanged in August, keeping the unemployment rate at 9.1 percent.  14 million Americans are out of work.

1.         queue  [kju]  (人或車輛等的)行列, 長隊
2.         bolster  [ˋbolstɚ]  長枕; 墊枕; 靠枕  支撐; 加固; 援助; 支持[(+up)]
3.         deficits  [ˋdɛfɪsɪt] 不足額; 赤字[c]
4.         nonetheless nʌnðəˋlɛs]  但是; 仍然
5.         discouraging [dɪsˋɪɪŋ] 令人沮喪的, 使人洩氣的
6.         average  [ˋævərɪdʒ]  平均, 平均數[c]
7.         horizon [həˋraɪzn] (知識, 經驗等的)範圍; 眼界; 視野[c]
8.         parliament [ˋpɑrləmənt] 議會, 國會
9.         amendment  ˋmɛndmənt]  改正, 修正; 改善[u][c]
10.      controversial  kɑntrəˋvɝʃəl] 爭論的; 可疑的
11.      sovereign  [ˋsɑvrɪn]  君主, 元首; 最高統治者
12.      stimulate  [ˋstɪmjə͵let]  刺激; 激勵; 使興奮; 促使[(+to/into)]
13.      conundrum  [kəˋnʌndrəm]  謎語; 難題; 機智問答
14.   grim  [grɪm] 無情的; 嚴厲的; 殘忍的


Americans Hold Somber Observances of September 11 Attacks

A decade after Islamic terrorists hijacked four passenger planes and turned them into weapons to claim nearly 3,000 lives, people in the United States on Sunday somberly marked the September 11 anniversary with memorials at the scenes of the attacks.

#The names of the nearly 3,000
victims at the World Trade Center speak volumes. The terrorist attacks in New York 10 years ago touched people of all backgrounds, races and ages.

"And my father, Sebastian Gorki, who I never met because I was in my mom's belly. I love you, father. I love you for loving the idea of having me. You gave me the gift of life, and I wish you could be here to enjoy it with me," said Nicholas Gorki.

Bells tolled to mark the moments when hijacked planes struck the twin towers, and when those towers collapsed.

Among the crowd at the National September 11 Memorial, President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle; former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura, and New York City's mayor in 2001, Rudolph Giuliani. "God bless every soul that we lost. God bless the family members who have to
endure that loss, and God guide us to our reunion in heaven, and God bless the United States of America," he said.

The decade has not dulled the sense of loss.
"Miss my son every day of his, of my life. Ten years seem like 10 minutes right now," said one woman.
Elsewhere, mourners gathered in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where a hijacked plane crashed after passengers overpowered their attackers.

The Obamas appeared there, too, and shared a reflective moment.

And just outside the nation's capital, a
remembrance at the Pentagon, where 184 people died when another plane struck the building.

Vice President Joe Biden spoke of the
resilience of the victims' families. "You let them know that hope can grow from tragedy, that there can be a second life," he said.

Year after year, people come back to the scenes of the three attacks, united in their collective loss.

1.     terrorists [ˋtɛrərɪst]恐怖分子/恐怖主義者
2.     hijack [ˋhaɪ͵dʒæk]挾持
3.     somberly[ˋsɑmbɚlɪ]昏暗地/憂鬱地
4.     volumes[ˋvɑljəm]/
5.     collapse[kəˋlæps]倒塌
6.     dull[dʌl]無光澤的
7.     mourner[ˋmornɚ]哀悼者/送葬者
8.     overpower[͵ovɚˋpaʊɚ]制伏
9.     reflective[rɪˋflɛktɪv]反射的
These comments by Joy and Lester were reflective of the general attitude. 喬伊和萊斯特的這些評論反映了普遍的態度

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