European leaders say youth unemployment is urgent crisis, turn to businesses to help solve

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European leaders are sounding the alarm on youth unemployment but are looking to businesses to help solve the problem of almost one in four young people in Europe without a job.

Labor ministers warned at a conference in Paris on Tuesday that if high youth unemployment is not addressed, young people will lose faith in their governments and the European Union.

But as many countries struggle to reduce spending, there is little money left in national budgets for youth programs.

The EU has set aside funds, but the ministers said Tuesday that the focus should be on ensuring small businesses, which employ the vast majority of young people, can get the loans so they can grow — and hire.

They are also pushing programs that increase youth training and internships.