With Greece a few weeks away from running out of cash and with unemployment at 25.10% a deal must be reached soon to unleash more aid for the country. Greece is just one of many problems Europe is facing, for over a year the zone has been experiencing a rise in unemployment which is currently at 11.40%. Italy has seen its unemployment rate rise to 10.7% over the last year and Spain is struggling at 25.02%. Portugal has also experienced rising unemployment currently at 15% and Ireland's has also risen with rates at 14.8%. Poland has improved a bit yet its unemployment is at 12.4%, the U.K. and Germany have also shown some signs of improvement with rates below 8%.
The European scene has affected domestic companies in the U.S., Ford (F) has been feeling the heat, for the past 5 years car sales have fallen. Not hard to believe given that some European countries have seen their unemployment rates rise for the last 5 years straight. Ford plans to close down plants to handle the lack of demand one of them in Belgium. The European recession is strong and the debt crisis is no where nearly fixed, investors must be prepared for the repercussions and panic that this may continue to bring to markets.
The Nordic countries have also been affected by the European debt crisis but not as severe they have relatively low unemployment rates and are seen as safe havens in financial markets. Denmark's unemployment rates are at 4.7%, Norway has improved with rates at 3% and Sweden also has seen rates fall to 7.4%. According to Helge J. Pedersen, Nordea's Global Chief Economist "the Nordic countries emerge as clear winners of the economic beauty contest with the Euro area. However, even the Nordic countries are facing challenges in terms of sustainable growth years."