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European politicians have backed the protest

Under-paid interns assemble outside the European Parliament

European leaders, attempting to tackle soaring youth unemployment across the European Union (EU), have promoted internships as a way to get young people in to work. But interns working for some of Europe´s top institutions and non-governmental organizations in Brussels protested against working conditions on Wednesday.

Around 300 people turned up to the event, according to Victor Garcia–Bragado, an organizer and intern at the International Labor Organisation. He said the group had achieved its goals through the protest.

The protestors who were preparing to assemble outside the Parliament on an unusually hot and sunny afternoon in Brussels included unpaid or under-paid interns from NGOs, private companies and United Nations’ bodies. Paid interns and salaried workers were also expected to lend their support.

In April 2013, the youth unemployment rate reached 23.5% in the EU 27. Moreover, the disparities between

member states and between regions within member states are significant: the youth unemployment rate is over 50% in some member states and over 70% in some regions, while in a few regions it is even below 5%. All in all, currently more than 7.5 million of young people under 25 are neither in employment, education or training.

Almost 60% of 15 to 25-year-olds in Spain and Greece are not in full-time work, education or training, according to Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development data released on Tuesday.

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