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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Amid Crimean blues, OECD cautions on economic scars

Noopur Tiwari, Hindustan Times  Paris, March 19, 2014
First Published: 20:47 IST(19/3/2014) | Last Updated: 20:56 IST(19/3/2014)

The US and European economies may be showing strong signs of revival but there is much underneath that shows the social fallout of the 2008 financial crisis may linger on for years to come, says a report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

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The report says India’s society is also wading through a crisis of confidence.

The Paris-based international organisation helping governments tackle the economic, social and governance challenges of a globalised economy has painted a grim picture in a new report that says governments must brace themselves with “crisis-proofed” policies that cut back on bureaucracy and administration.

The report comes at a time when the European Union is grappling with the idea of imposing sanctions on Russia over the Crimean crisis and has been unable to walk its tough talk.

Any sanctions aimed at really hurting Russia would also hurt Europe. Russia is Europe’s third largest trading partner and its biggest supplier of crude oil (34.5%) and natural gas (31.8%).

Europe can neither afford an energy crisis nor a trade war at this juncture. Even France is reluctant to stall its 1.2 billion euro deal to sell two Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia.

OECD’s “Society At A Glance” report on 34 countries including India says confidence in institutions and government has plummeted 26.5% since 2007.

At 30%, the number of young people in India that are neither studying nor in jobs is the highest among the countries in the report. However, life expectancy of the
Indian population has increased by 16.4 years since 1970.

In OECD countries, 48 million people are unemployed, an increase by one third since 2007. More than half of young people in France and Germany only have temporary jobs and the number of people living in households without any income from work has doubled in Greece, Ireland and Spain.


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