It is not clear that the direct hiring subsidy is the better formula for promoting youth employment. There are indirect approaches – stimulating investment and consumption, supporting business financing – that should round out the Franco-German programme, and some interesting ideas were presented in Paris.
But the decisive factor at the moment is the urgency. Urgent need to stop the destruction of jobs, to send out the message to society that youth unemployment is inspiring the authorities to do everything they can to stop it.
Confronted by any clear and present problem, almost any option is better than doing nothing. The fatalism that holds that actions to tackle unemployment must keep in line with austerity policies must be abandoned. Pessimism need not be the sole vision possible in this phase of recession, characterised by trimmed budgets and poor initiative among some community institutions.
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