World faces years of social unrest as economies falter

 

The international economy is on the brink of a deep new economic crisis that could cost millions of jobs around the globe and trigger mass social unrest, the world's most powerful nations were warned yesterday.

As the leaders of the G20 countries prepare for emergency talks on averting a return to worldwide recession, the United Nations' International Labour Organisation (ILO) issued a grim forecast of the social effects of the continuing economic crisis.

The UN agency warned that it could take until 2016 for global employment to return to the levels of three years ago – and that anger could erupt on the streets of Europe and other continents as a result.

The economic gloom was exacerbated yesterday by Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou's surprise announcement that his country would hold a referendum on the European debt deal that was struck last week. The vote could put the tortuously conceived package in jeopardy.

The Greek Finance Minister, Evangelos Venizelos, said the announcement was prompted by popular discontent at the terms of the deal.

If anger at the austerity forced on the country translates into a No vote, European leaders who spent months haggling over the terms of the deal could be forced back to the drawing board and the terms of the deal renegotiated.

George Osborne, the Chancellor, faces having to revise his predictions about British economic growth. Today he is likely to receive further evidence that Britain's recovery is sluggish, with figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) expected to show that economic growth in the UK remained modest in the third quarter of 2011. The Chancellor's hopes of economic growth close to 2 per cent over the year now look highly unlikely to be fulfilled – and could be barely half that.

Yet David Cameron, who announced a fresh drive to create jobs through major infrastructure projects yesterday, will stress at the G20 gathering in Cannes that countries have to press ahead with deficit reduction plans.

The ILO said the risk of social unrest is rising in 40 per cent of the countries it examined.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development also slashed its growth forecasts for many of the biggest economies and warned the G20 leaders: "Without decisive action the outlook is gloomy." It warned parts of Europe are likely to fall back into recession in 2012 and that if the eurozone sovereign debt crisis takes a turn for the worse, total output in some advanced economies could contract by up to 5 per cent by 2013.

Britain's economic woes are likely to be underlined today when the latest ONS growth figures, covering July to September, are released. Gross domestic product is expected to have edged up by about 0.4 per cent, a slight improvement on the previous quarter's 0.1 per cent.

Economists last month projected 0.9 per cent growth over 2011 and 1.3 per cent over 2012. In March, the Office for Budget Responsibility estimated growth of 1.7 per cent in 2011 and 2.5 per cent in 2012. The growth shortfall is likely to mean that the UK deficit will not be reduced on the timescale set out by the Chancellor in his emergency Budget in June 2010.

Mr Cameron yesterday approved the construction of power plants at Ferrybridge, West Yorkshire, and Thorpe Marsh, South Yorkshire, creating 1,000 construction jobs.

News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Manager (retail, upgrades, rollouts)

£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Project...

Technical Project Manager - Software and Infrastructure - Government Experience

£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Central Lon...

Secondary teachers needed for supply roles in Sudbury

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Supply teachers requi...

Head of Technology

Negotiable: Randstad Education Reading: Head of Technology needed for a Outsta...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits