According to Eurostat, the unemployment rate for 15- to 24-year-olds in the third quarter of 2014 in the European Union was 21.3 percent. The official number in Spain was 52.4 percent, with 49.5 percent in Greece, 40.4 percent in Croatia and 39.3 percent in Italy. The high level of youth unemployment in the EU is not only an economical problem; it is increasingly also a political problem for governments. This is because the movements protesting the crisis policies of the EU governments and the Troika – consisting of the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund – are greatly supported by young people. It is therefore not surprising that Martin Schulz, the re-elected president of the European Parliament, in his first speech to the newly formed parliament on 1 July 2014 on the political challenges in his new term of office gave top priority to the «shocking level of youth unemployment», which he called «a threat to our democracy».
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