The Kids are not allright

i??The Kids Are Not Alright

Aleksandra Maldžiski

Aleksandra is from Belgrade, Serbia, currently living in Portugal. She was a school student activist and a Board member of OBESSU (Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions). During her studies of political science and journalism she did an intership at the Serbian national radio B92 on a political show co-produced by BBC. Aleksandra has been writing for the YO! Mag since 2010.


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When the French school students joined the protests against the retirement system reforms last fall, the only response they got was to go back to school and let the grown-ups deal with it. This reaction is paradoxical when one thinks that it is youth that will be the most affected by the decisions these politicians make.

Unfortunately, this unfortunately is not an isolated case. In the past few months, young people around Europe have been voicing their displeasure with governmentsai??i?? austerity measures, trying to point out that they will be those suffering the most from the damages of the current financial crisis. It is often said that young people are the future. However, it is very often forgotten that young people are also the present. It seems the European youth of today are already paying for someone elseai??i??s mistakes, and will continue to do so in years to come.

Italy, Greece, France, the UK, and even the Netherlands have recently seen demonstrations. Some were about the cuts in education, others about the pension system, but all were about the disappointment in the way their respective governments were dealing with the crisis, and a general despondency at the idea of a bright future.

The Kids are not allright

In November, young people in Bristol, UK, got angry at the government for cutting the help necessary for students with low economic backgrounds to continue their studies, and organised a protest in front of Bristol University. One participant in the protests, Katie Rodgers, explains the reasoning behind the demonstrations. ai???Next year, the students from low-income backgrounds who are starting further education will not receive the ai???EMAai??i??, an economic package for students who need it most to support their further educationai??? she says. ai???Several students currently receiving this grant would not be able to afford transport to school without it. However, despite it being vital for some students to attend university, the government have now decided it is on their list of cuts and will not be available from the next academic year onwards.ai??? Despite more protests around the country, the government chose to go ahead with the plan.

In December, Italian students faced a similar situation over university budget cuts that are expected to be approved by the parliament. Demonstrations against this proposal were held across the country. In Sicily, the protesters were symbolically carrying banners with famous book titles and some were even wearing helmets similar to those used by riot police while marching the streets.

Protests in Greece, where police clashed with young people throwing petrol bombs in Athens, were even more dramatic. The protests marked the anniversary of the death of a teenager killed by the police in 2008 that triggered the countryai??i??s worst riots in decades.

The Kids are not allright

Thousands of students marched through Athens shouting anti-government slogans such as ai???Resistance is the only wayai??i??. The protesters were there to condemn the murder that happened a couple of years back, but also to complain against the, as they describe it, brutal measures imposed by the government abiding by directives from the EU and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Early last fall, images of hundreds of thousands taking to streets across France in protest against pension reforms were shown around the world. It was especially striking to see students leaving school classes to join the protests. One might say that this is not their fight, but Victor Grezes, from Union Nationale LycAi??enne disagrees ai???Itai??i??s evident that keeping the old workers longer on the market will increase unemployment for the new generations who already face huge hardships when it comes to finding a job. Thatai??i??s mainly why the youth joined the protests.ai???

And on top of all this, the unemployment rate in Europe is rising rapidly. According to Eurostat, the unemployment rate for the under-25s stood at 20 per cent across the euro area in August. In Spain it was more than 40 per cent. Unemployment among young Greeks is over 30 per cent, and as a consequence, four out of 10 young Greeks between the ages of 22 – 35 are seeking jobs abroad, according to a recent survey.

The Kids are not allright

So what are we looking at here? Education cut backs, rising unemployment, emigration in hope for a better future, brain drain…and it seems as though young people are screaming their displeasure with this situation all around the continent, but no one is listening. ai???In a times of recession, our country needs us, the youth, to become successful and be economically beneficial to the country, but how is this going to happen without the ability for many to even attend further education?ai??? bemoans Katie Rodgers, UK.

This leaves us wondering: will todayai??i??s youth become a lost generation? Or are governments going to do something about it? buy fluconazole from india.

Aleksandra Maldžiski

Aleksandra is from Belgrade, Serbia, currently living in Portugal. She was a school student activist and a Board member of OBESSU (Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions). During her studies of political science and journalism she did an intership at the Serbian national radio B92 on a political show co-produced by BBC. Aleksandra has been writing for the YO! Mag since 2010.
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