Lazaridis and Maria Koumandraki (2001) 'Youth
Citizenship and Unemployment: The Case of Passive and
Active Labour Market Policies towards the Young
Unemployed in Greece'
Sociological Research Online, vol. 5, no. 4, <http://www.socresonline.org.uk/5/4/lazaridis.html>
To cite articles published in Sociological Research Online, please reference the above information and include paragraph numbers if necessary
Received: 5/10/2000 Accepted: 26/2/2001 Published: 28/2/2001
'Extended transitions refer to the fact that the attainment of employment, leaving home and setting up new households in the 1990s is much more likely to take place at a later age than in previous decades ... [and that] young people are economically dependent upon their families for longer periods of time ... Fractured transitions refer to situations in which young people move from one status position, without managing to attain a secure, stable or positive outcome in another. So, for instance, young people may leave education but not obtain a job ... At their worst, fractured transitions result in long-term and chronic unemployment, dislocation and estrangement from families, and homelessness' (Coles 1995:30- 31).
'Closely linked with this statist/clientelistic mode of welfare provision is the role of family/household as a key unit in redistribution... the family/household constitutes a strategic unit of decision-making regarding the employment opportunities and welfare of its members. Family strategies combine formal and informal economic activities, private and public employment, and efforts to improve their members' access to clientelistic clusters and discretionary benefits' (Petmezidou 1996:330).
|Regions||Youthstart I||YOUTHSTART II|
|Macedonia and Thrace||9||7|
|Sterea Ellada and Attiki||6||15|
Sources: Data for 1986-1989 - Eurostat (1990:45); for 1990-1993 - Eurostat (1994); for 1994 - Eurostat (1995); for 1995-1998 - Eurostat (2000:61).
Sources: Data for 1998 - Eurostat (2000:61); for 1992 - Eurostat (1994); for 1988 - Eurostat (1990:45).
Source: Eurostat (1995:272, 284, 288)
2Young people need more time to find a suitable job compared to adults.
3Those endorsing this approach argue that young people 'do not accept work discipline.. show little enthusiasm for the work itself', their personal appearance is not the appropriate one, lack appropriate skills and qualifications (Jackson 1985:50).
4It is claimed that young people themselves may lack motivation to search for a job or are unwilling 'to accept certain kinds of jobs: in particular the low paid jobs which involve a great deal of repetitive work'. This is because young people 'rely on their families for support' (an explanation which can be applied to Greece) [and on] the benefits they receive from the state' (Jackson 1985:53).
5This issue remains unresearched in Greece and will be the focus of our future research.
6Westergaard (1992) identified four different versions of the underclass thesis. First, there are the agnostics, arguing for need of more research to evaluate the analytical usefulness of the argument (Smith 1992a; Smith 1992b; Westergaard 1992). Second, there are those who reject the underclass thesis and an empirically unsupported ideological red herring (Bagguley and Mann 1992). Third, the individualist/culturalist theories, which put emphasis on anti-social actions, welfare dependency moral irresponsibility and deviant behaviour. An exemplar of this position is Murray's (1990) work; he argues that single motherhood, unemployment and crime are interwoven in the cultural reproduction of the underclass. Fourth, structural accounts ( Dahrendorf 1987); here the underclass is seen as an outcome of social and economic change (absence of legitimate employment due to deregulation of the labour market and increasing flexibility). In much of the debate, there is emphasis on the youthfulness of the protagonists (MacDonald 1997:19).
7The unemployment rate in Greece started to increase sharply since the early 1980s, it remained in high levels all though the 1980s and it increased again from the early 1990s onwards (see Table 1). Thus from 2% in 1973 it reached 7.2% in 1984 and 9.4% in 1999 - slightly below the EU average (9.6%) (European Commission 1999: 104-105). With these rates Greece is classified as a country with medium unemployment rates, since they are comparatively low when compared with other EU countries (see Table 1). However, there are considerable regional variations. In 1995, in some regions, such as Crete, unemployment rates run below 6%, whereas in others these range from 8% to 10% (eg: Thrace, East Macedonia) and yet in others the unemployment rate is more than 20% (eg: West Macedonia), that is well above the EU average 10.7% (Eurostat 1996). The extent of long-term unemployment is also relatively high, in that in 1995, 4.8% of the unemployed have been out of work for more than 12 months (Demekas and Kontolemis 1997b:58). Long term unemployment is particularly affecting women and young people (Ketsetzopoulou and Bouzas 1996:154-160). In 1995, the long term unemployment rates for women are three times higher (8.5%) than that for men (2.5%) (Demekas and Kontolemis 1997b:58).
8Educational attainment which once upon a time (especially during the 1960s and 1970s) was one of the factors that helped secure a job and upward social mobility (Tsoukalas 1987; 1993) has now lost its value.
9Post-school transition directly into primary employment.
10Transition via a variety of experiences, such as unemployment, underemployment, a variety of programmes.
11They become trapped and develop 'alternative careers' which often involve illegal activities (see Craine 1997:145-149).
12Ferrera (1996) identified some common traits of the welfare states in the four main southern European countries. These are: fragmented and 'corporatist' income maintenance system; dualistic system of income maintenance with higher protected beneficiaries (eg: public employees, white collar workers, private wage earners of medium and large enterprises working on full contract with job security) on the one hand, who receive generous replacement benefits and pensions, and under-protected workers and citizens on the other (eg: irregular workers in weak sectors with no job security, workers in the informal sector, unemployed), who draw meagre benefits; the establishment of National Health Systems based on universalistic principles; persistence of clientelism and patronage and high vulnerability of public institutions to partisan pressures and manipulations; low degree of state penetration of the welfare sphere and a 'highly collusive mix between public and non public actors and institutions' (ibid).
13Until the late 1970s, welfare state policies were rudimentary in Greece and a debate on the need for a welfare state was almost non-existent (Petmezidou 1996: 325). 'The dominant view in society was that economic development and the ensuing general improvement of the standard of living would be enough to alleviate such problems' ( ibid). The expansion of social protection occurred in the first half of the 1980s, when the shrinking of the welfare state was taking place in most of western Europe, because of economic recession.
14All major parties have exploited the unemployment problem in Greece for purposes of re-election. The first favour asked of elected representatives by Greek voters is to find them a job in the public sector. According to estimates by the New Democracy party, 80% of requests by party members are for employment in the civil service (Samatas 1993). Each party tends to their own - I diki mas - delegates thus work as party employment agencies, exchanging jobs for votes.
15In a survey carried out in 1996 by Katsikas and Kavadias (1996) (cited in INE/GSEE 1996) 51% of graduates of upper secondary education and 47% of graduates of higher education said that the most important factor in finding a job was having access to political networks. Only 1% of graduates of higher education considered that high educational qualifications in itself can lead to a job.
16This is a powerful metaphor for people who 'currently account for nothing and appear to be going nowhere' (Williamson 1997:78).
17There is a 'flat rate allowance for children who are not supported (decree 147/89), flat rate living allowance for repatriates (decree 57/73), a benefit for people undergoing severe hardship (law 1331/83), flat rate maternity allowance for mothers with no financial support (law 1331/84), flat rate payment towards housing benefit, means tested benefit awarded to refugees of Greek origin coming from Eastern Europe, Egypt or Albania, family allowances for Greek repatriates, flat rate allowance for single parent families (decree 147/89), heating allowance for handicapped people and family allowance for those covered by the Organisation of Agricultural Insurance (OGA) scheme (European Commission 1999a:526, 534).
18A thorough evaluation of the impact of ESF funding on Greece is lacking.
19Of particular importance to young people are: Lingua (1987), Erasmus (1987), Comett (1986), Petra (1987), Youth for Europe (1998), Euroform, Now and Horizon.
20Youthstart I identified the following target groups: young people living in mountainous areas or islands (22%), young people with inadequate qualifications (35%), young repatriates (6%), young graduates of secondary education (34%), ex-drug users (3%); training of personel (3%). YOUTHSTART II was also directed (apart from the above mentioned groups) to the following groups: high-school graduates, young farmers, young people with phychological problems and/ or special needs, high school or technical school graduates, school drop- outs, young people with other health problems (National Labour Institute 1998). The percentages mentioned above refer to percentage of programmes. Unfortunately such figures are not available for YOUTHSTART II. An evaluation of the first phase of YOUTHSTART is not, however, yet available and that it is too early to make any estimates for the second phase.
21The following main public institutions are responsible for the co-ordination and implementation of YOUTHSTART 1 and 2: Ministry of Labour, National Labour Institute, while numerous private and public institutions such as OAED, Centres for Vocational Training (KEKs), local authorities, non-governmental organisations etc. are responsible for its implementation.
22This section is based on fifteen semi- structured interviews we conducted in 1998 and 1999 in Athens with key informants, working in agencies and institutions responsible for implementing programmes like Youthstart. These include: OAED (Greek Manpower Employment Organisation), GGLE (General Secretariat of Greek Diaspora), EIYAPOE (National Institute for Reception and Integration of Refugees), Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Justice, INE/GSEE (Institute of Labour/Greek General Confederation of Labour), EIE (National Institute of Labour), ERGOPLAN (independent private company participating in employment generating schemes).
23When a programme is submitted for funding, this has various partners, ranging from local authorities, universities, representatives of the local business community.
ALLEN, Sh. and WATON, A. (1986) "The effects of unemployment: experience and response", in Sh. Allen, A. Waton, K. Purcell and St. Wood (eds), The experience of unemployment, pp. 1-16, London: Macmillan.
ANTAL, A. B. (1990) Making ends meet: corporate responses to youth unemployment in Britain and Germany, London: Pinter.
BALDWIN D., COLES B., and MITCHELL W. , "The formation of an underclass or disparate processes of social exclusion? Evidence from two groups of 'vulnerable youth'" in in R. MacDonald, (1997) (ed), Youth, the 'underclass' and social exclusion, London: Routledge, pp. 83-95.
BAGGULEY, P. and MANN, K. (1992) 'Idle thieving bastards? Scholarly representations of the "underclass"', Work, Employment and Society, 6 (1): 113-26.
BLAKELY, G. (1990) Youth policy, London: Routledge in association with the University of Bradford and Spicers Centre for Europe Ltd.
BROWN, Ph. and CROMPTON, R. (eds) (1994) A new Europe? Economic restructuring and social exclusion, London: UCL Press.
CAVOUNIDIS, J. (1996) " Social welfare services and the fight against social exclusion", in H. Katsoulis (ed), Dimensions of social exclusion, Vol. 1, Athens: National Centre for Social Research, pp. 252-271.
CEDEFOP (1992a) Occupational and qualification structures in the field of educational and vocational guidance for young people and adults in Greece, Spain and Italy, Berlin: CEDEFOP.
CEDEFOP (1992b) Support policies for business start-ups and the role of training. National reports from Portugal, Belgium, Greece: Synthesis Report Berlin: CEDEFOP.
CEDEFOP (1995) Determining the need for vocational counseling among different target groups of young people under 28 years of age in the European Community, Berlin: CEDEFOP, 2nd edition.
CEDEFOP (1997) Austria, Belgium, Greece, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, Berlin: CEDEFOP.
CHTOURIS, S. (1992) Dimensions of poverty and least privileged groups: the role of the family in social protection, Athens: Praxis (in Greek).
COLEMAN, J. C.. (1992) " The nature of adolescence ", in J. C. Coleman and Ch. Warren-Adamson (eds), Youth policy in the 1990s: the way forward, London: Routledge, pp. 8-27.
COLES, B. (1995) Youth and social policy: youth citizenship and young careers, London: UCL Press Limited.
CRAINE St., (1997), The black 'magic roundabout': cyclical transitions and alternative careers, in in R. MacDonald, (1997) (ed), Youth, the 'underclass' and social exclusion, London: Routledge, pp.130- 152.
DAHRENDORF, R. (1987), The underclass and the future of Britain, 10th Annual Lecture, Windsor: St. George's House. DEAKIN, B. M. (1995) The youth labour market in Britain: the role of intervention, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
DEMEKAS, D. G. and KONTOLEMIS, Z. G. (1997a) Labour market performance and institutions in Greece, South European Society and Politics, 2 (2): 80-114.
DEMEKAS, D. G. and KONTOLEMIS, Z. G. (1997b) Unemployment in Greece: a survey of issues, Working Paper No. 97/17, Badia Fiesolana: European University Institute.
EUROPEAN COMMISSION (1995) Employment in Europe, Luxembourg: European Commission.
EUROPEAN COMMISSION (1999a) Social protection in the member states of the European Union: MISSOC (Community Information System on Social Protection), Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.
EUROPEAN COMMISSION (1999b) European Economy, Vol. 68, pp.104-105.
EUROSTAT (1990) Eurostatistics: data for short term economic analysis, Vol. 11/12, Luxenbourg:OOPEC.
EUROSTAT (1994) Eurostatistics: data for short term economic analysis, Vol.12, Luxembourg: OOPEC.
EUROSTAT (1995) Eurostatistics: data for short term economic analysis, Vol.12, Luxembourg: OOPEC.
EUROSTAT (1995) Education across the European Union: statistics and indicators, Luxembourg: OOPEC.
EUROSTAT (1996), Regions: statistical yearbook, Luxembourg: OOPEC.
EUROSTAT (2000) Eurostatistics: data for short term economic analysis, Vol. 2, Luxembourg: OOPEC.
FEND, H. (1994) "The historical context of transition to work and youth unemployment", in C. Petersen and J.T. Mortimer (eds), Youth unemployment and society, pp. 77-94 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
FERRERA, M. (1996) " The 'Southern model' of welfare in social Europe", Journal of European Social Policy, Vol. 6 (1): 17- 37.
FRAGNIERE, G. and DOORTEN, K. (1983) Employment and youth policy, Maastricht: European Centre for Work and Society.
FURNHAM, A. (1994) "The psychological consequences of youth unemployment", in C. Petersen and J. T. Mortimer (eds), Youth unemployment and society, pp. 199-226Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
GREEN J. K., MULROY S., and O' NEILL M. (1997), Young people and prostitution from a youth service perspective, in D.Barrett (ed.), Child prostitution in Britain, London: The Children's Society, pp. 90-105.
HARRIS, N. S. (1989) Social security for young people, Aldershot: Avebury.
HART, P. E. (1988) Youth unemployment in Great Britain, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
INE/GSEE (1996), "Unemployment: a major threat in Greece and Europe: young people the victims" , Enimerosi, Vol 20 (in Greek).
JACKSON, M. P. (1985) Youth unemployment, London: Croom Helm.
JONES, G. and WALLACE, Cl. (1992) Youth, citizenship and family, Buckingham: Open University Press.
KARANTINOS, D. CAVOUNIDIS, J. IOANNOU, Cr. KONIORDOS, M. and TINIOS, Pl. (1992) EC Observatory on national policies to combat social exclusion. Consolidated Report Greece, Athens: National Centre for Social Research/ Commission of the European Communities.
KATROUGALOS, G. S. (1996) "The south European welfare model: the Greek welfare state, in search for an identity", Journal of European Social Policy, Vol. 6 (1): 39-60.
KATSIKAS, Ch. and KAVADIAS, G. (1996) H elliniki ekpaideusi ston orizonta tou 2000 (Greek Education in the year 2000), Athens: Gutenberg (in Greek).
KETSETZOPOULOU, M. and BOUZAS, N. (1996) "Labour market function and social exclusion" in H. Katsoulis (ed), Dimensions of social exclusion, Vol. 1, Athens: National Centre for Social Research, pp. 137-170.
LAZARIDIS, G. (1995) "Sexuality and its Cultural Construction in Western Crete", in Journal of Gender Studies, Vol. 4, No.3, pp 281-295.
LAZOS, C. G. (1995) Youth policies in the European Union: structures and training, Luxembourg: OOPEC.
LEONTIDOU, L. (1993) "Informal strategies of unemployment relief in Greek cities: the relevance of family, locality and housing", European Planning Studies, 1 (1): 43-68.
LYNCH, L. M. (1984) State dependency in youth unemployment: a lost generation, Discussion Paper No. 184, Centre for Labour Economics, London: London School of Economics.
MACDONALD, R. (ed) (1997) Youth, and 'Underclass' and Social Exclusion, London:Routledge.
MALOUTAS, Th. and ECONOMOU, D. (1988) " Welfare state: its Greek version" , in Th. Maloutas and D. Economou (eds) Problems in the development of the welfare state in Greece, pp.13-55, Athens: Exantas.
MINISTRY OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS (1998) Community Initiative 'Employment'- YOUTHSTART 1997-99: Greece. Catalogue of the approved projects, Athens: Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (in Greek).
MINISTRY OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS (1996) Community Initiative 'Employment'- YOUTHSTART 1994-96: Greece. Catalogue of the approved projects, Athens: Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (in Greek).
MINGIONE, E. and CONTIERO, G. (undated), Youth unemployment in Southern Europe, <http://www.sociol.unimi.it/ulysses/ulyart09>(Site no longer exists)
MURRAY, C. (1990), The emerging British underclass, London: Institute of Economic Affairs.
NATIONAL LABOUR INSTITUTE (1996) Catalogue of the approved projects under the Community Initiatives NOW- YOUTHSTART-HORIZON 1994-96, Athens: Offset.
NATIONAL LABOUR INSTITUTE (1998) Strand YOUTHSTART, Athens: NLI.
NATIONAL LABOUR INSTITUTE (1999a) Catalogue of the approved projects under the Community Initiatives NOW- YOUTHSTART-HORIZON 1994-96, Athens:
NATIONAL LABOUR INSTITUTE, (1999b), Persiskopio tis apasxolisis (Employment Observatory), vol. 11, August, Athens : NLI.
OECD (1994) The OECD jobs study, Paris: OECD.
OECD (1995) Employment Outlook, Paris: OECD.
ORSZAG, M. and SNOWER, D. J. (1997) Youth unemployment and government policy, London: Centre for Economic Policy Research.
PETERSEN, A. C. and MORTIMER, J. T. (eds) (1994) Youth unemployment and society, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
PETMESIDOU, M. (1996) " Social protection in Greece: a brief glimpse of a welfare state", Social Policy and Administration, 30 (4): 324-347.
PETMESIDOU, M. (1991) " Statism, social policy and the middle classes in Greece", Journal of European Social Policy, 1 (1): 31-48.
POPPLE, K. and KIRBY, R. (1997) "Winners and losers: young people in Europe", in T. Spybey (ed.) Britain in Europe, pp.161- 172, London: Routledge.
RAJAN, A. (1990) Vocational training scenarios for some member states of the European Community: a synthesis report for France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom, Berlin: CEDEFOP.
REES, T. L. and ATKINSON, P. (1982) Youth unemployment and state intervention, London: Routledge and K. Paul.
ROBERTS K. , (1997), "Is there an emerging British 'underclass'? The evidence from youth research" , in R. MacDonald, (1997) (ed), Youth, the 'underclass' and social exclusion, London: Routledge, pp. 39- 54.
SAMATAS M., (1993), " Debureaucratizarion Failure in post-dictatorial Greece: a sociopolitical control approach", Journal of Modern Greek Studies, Vol. 11 (2): 187-217.
SMITH, D. (ed) (1992a) Understanding the Underclass, London: Policy Studies Institute.
SMITH, D. (1992b) "The Future of the Underclass", in D. Smith (ed.) Understanding the Underclass, London: Policy Studies Institute.
STATHOPOULOS, P. (1996) " Greece: what future for the welfare state?", in V. George and P. Taylor-Gooby (eds), European welfare policy : squaring the welfare circle, pp. 136-154, London: Macmillan.
SYMEONIDOU, H. (1995) " Formal and informal forms of social protection in Greece", in G. Kiriopoulos (ed), Health, social protection and family, pp. 239-254, Athens: Centre of Health Sciences, (in Greek).
SYMES, V. (1995) Unemployment in Europe, London: Routledge.
TSOUKALAS K. (1987), State, society and work, Athens: Themelio. (in Greek).
TSOUKALAS, K. (1993), Social development and the state: the construction of the public sector in Greece, Athens: Themelio, 5th edition, (in Greek).
WALLACE, Cl. (1987) For richer, for poorer: young people in and out of work, London: Tavistock Publications.
WESTERGAARD , J. (1992), ' About and beyond the underclass: some notes on influences of social climate on British sociology', Sociology, 26: 575-87.
WILKINSON, C. (1995), The drop-out society: young people at the margin, Leicester: Youth Work Press.
WILKINSON, C. and MULGAN, G. (1995), Freedom's children, London: Demos.
WILLIAMSON, H. (1997a) Youth and policy: contexts and consequences. Young men, transition and social exclusion, Aldershot: Ashgate.
WILLIAMSON, H. (1997b), "Status ZerO youth and the 'underclass': some considerations' , in R. MacDonald, (1997) (ed), Youth, the 'underclass' and social exclusion, London: Routledge, pp. 70-82.
ZANNI-TELIOPOULOU, K. (1995) Determining the need for vocational counseling among different target groups of young people under 28 years of age in the European Community: young people's need for vocational guidance in Greece, Berlin: CEDEFOP.