Economic Lost Decade Fuels ‘Splits’ In European Society

The financial crisis has caused a “split in society” in some European countries due to the “deep scars” of a lost economic decade that are still affecting workers’ chances, new research has warned, the Financial Times reported. Although aggregate growth across the continent is rebounding after a weak end to last year, economic activity and employment in some areas are yet to surpass the levels achieved more than a decade ago, the report by economists at Dutch bank ING found. The divergence means that “many regions are looking at prolonged stagnation”, according to the report’s authors, Bert Colijn and Joanna Konings. They identified a trend of underperformance among countries’ “rural and ageing” populations which, they said, was fuelling divisions with “urbanised and younger regions”. Even in Germany, where national unemployment is at a post-reunification low, pockets such as eastern states Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia still have jobless rates that are higher than in 2008. Read more