"We saved the banks but are running the risk of losing a generation"

Senior European politician warns of the damage caused by unemployment.

Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, has warned that not enough has been done to tackle Europe's social crisis, in an interview with Reuters. According to Schulz, the huge rise in youth unemployment threatens the European political project itself:

One of the biggest threats to the European Union is that people entirely lose their confidence in the capacity of the EU to solve their problems. And if the younger generation is losing trust, then in my eyes the European Union is in real danger.

Schulz, a German socialist who has led the European parliament since last year, indicated that rescuing the banks had come at a cost, particularly to the economies of southern Europe:

If we have 700 billion euros to stabilise the banking system, we must have at least as much money to stabilise the young generation in such countries.

EU leaders have announced an initiative to tackle youth unemployment in the worst-hit regions - worth 6 billion euros.

Martin Schulz, at a press conference on 12 February. (Photo: Getty.)
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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

The world shared a stunned silence when news broke that Boris Johnson would be the new Foreign Secretary. Johnson, who once referred to black people as “piccaninnies” and more recently accused the half-Kenyan President of the United States of only commenting on the EU referendum because of bitterness about colonialism, will now be Britain’s representative on the world stage.

His colourful career immediately came back to haunt him when US journalists accused him of “outright lies” and reminded him of the time he likened Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to a “sadistic nurse”. Johnson’s previous appearances on the international stage include a speech in Beijing where he maintained that ping pong was actually the Victorian game of “whiff whaff”.

But Johnson has always been more than a blond buffoon, and this appointment is a shrewd one by May. His popularity in the country at large, apparently helped by getting stuck on a zip line and having numerous affairs, made him an obvious threat to David Cameron’s premiership. His decision to defect to the Leave campaign was widely credited with bringing it success. He canned his leadership campaign after Michael Gove launched his own bid, but the question of whether his chutzpah would beat May’s experience and gravity is still unknown.

In giving BoJo the Foreign Office, then, May hands him the photo opportunities he craves. Meanwhile, the man with real power in international affairs will be David Davis, who as Brexit minister has the far more daunting task of renegotiating Britain’s trade deals.