Italy's Letta calls for EU plan against youth unemployment

Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta on Friday called for the European Union summit in June to adopt a strategy to combat youth unemployment with concrete measures to be implemented immediately.

"Europe has to provide answers on youth unemployment," Letta said after talks in Rome with European Parliament speaker Martin Schulz.

"Without jobs for young people there is no hope, either for the member states or for Europe," he said.

One out of four under-25s, or 23.5 percent, was unemployed in the 27-nation European Union in March, but almost two in three were in Greece and Spain, according to the latest official figures.

In Greece the jobless figure for youths stood at 64.2 percent in February and in March hit 55.9 percent in Spain, 38.4 percent in Italy and 38.3 percent in Portugal.

dt/vjf