What Happened to Spain's Green Jobs?

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The Sunday
San Francisco Chronicle Business section has this story on
unemployment soaring among Spain’s youth by Nelson D. Schwartz,
New York Times. As you will recall, Spain was on the forefront of
going green. While Spain has traditionally suffered from relatively
high unemployment, double the 9.8 percent average for the European
Union, but the sharpest increase has been among young people. It
has jumped from 17.5 percent three years ago to the current 42.9
percent.

Unemployment
soars among Spain’s youth

Like hundreds
of thousands of other young people, Jesus Pesquero Penas dropped
out of school to go to work when the Spanish economy was booming.
But since he was laid off from his construction job two years ago,
he has been living on unemployment benefits.

Now Penas
finds himself part of a lost generation in Spain, where unemployment
among people ages 16–24 is 42.9 percent, the highest in Europe,
and more than double the overall rate.

Where are all
the promised green jobs? How could this happen when Spain was on
the leading edge in the EU to convert to a sustainable life style
free from their oil addiction, by adopting wind and solar power.
California Governor has often pointed to Spain as a example for
California to follow.

Adding
to Spain’s woes, its government is unable to inject more stimulus
and offer further support for job creation while its economy languishes
as one of the weakest in Europe. The outlook on Spanish sovereign
debt was recently downgraded, and the government is moving to raise
taxes and cut spending.

Read
the rest of the article

January
6, 2010

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