Tackling unemployment ‘highest priority’, says minister

The highest priority for the government is to tackle unemployment, through a coordinated effort that has begun to deliver the first positive and promising results, Labour Zeta Emilianidou in her message ahead of May 1 Labour Day.

The minister noted that unemployment had fallen from 15.9% in 2013 to 12.9% in 2016 and a significant number of citizens had returned to the labour market.

At the same time, she said that efforts to revive the jobs market and reduce unemployment were continuing, and in this context there were currently ten employment and training plans ongoing.

The minister also referred to government support for vulnerable groups through the application of the guaranteed minimum income scheme, which meets the basic living and housing needs of families and people who either lack sufficient resources or are disabled.

“The government’s goal is to ensure social cohesion and provide opportunities for vulnerable groups integration into the social and economic life of the country through an anthropocentric approach and treatment,” she added.

Emilianidou said that particular emphasis was being placed on strict labour market control, aiming to protect workers` rights, safeguard employment conditions, equal treatment at work and combating and tackling illegal and undeclared work.

With regard to these issues, she added, the government continues to amend and update existing legislation to improve it.