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Merkel Says Europe’s Youth Jobless Tally at ‘Unimaginable’ Level

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May 25 (Bloomberg) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the tally of unemployed youth in Europe has climbed to an “unimaginable” level that requires urgent action, including spending trade bloc cash effectively to create jobs.

Addressing a congress of her Christian Democrats in the city of Muenster, Merkel said Germany is co-leading efforts with partners to assess how best to spend 6 billion euros ($7.7 billion) in European Union allocations after youth unemployment grew more than 50 percent in several countries.

“We have to act quickly,” she said. “We’re not a poor continent and must succeed in making headway.” EU labor ministers due to meet in Berlin on July 3 won’t discuss an increase to the 6 billion euros allocated to battle the problem, Merkel said today.

Youth unemployment -- defined as youngsters below 25 without work -- rose in March to 24 percent in the single currency area, according to Eurostat. The average masks rates of 56 percent in Spain and 38 percent in Portugal.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Parkin in Berlin at bparkin@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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