Jan 14, 2009

Lifestyle - Young Cubans not interested in getting jobs

Havana, Jan 14 (IANS) Getting a job has dropped to fifth place in the ambitions of young Cubans, according to a report by the Granma, the official daily of Cuba's Communist Party, EFE news agency reported Tuesday.

'Idleness is one of the problems that hurts the economy, aggravated in some places by the lack of a work ethic,' the report titled 'Idleness: an ideological danger' pointed out, underlining that most of the youths in the island do not have 'rigor and ambition'.

Describing lazy people as danger for the whole society, the report said: 'The presence of individuals who never get their shirts sweaty but rather live better than those who work from sunrise to sunset leads workers to ask: What's the use of working if the lazy live just as well or better than I do?,' it said.

The article also questioned the government policy of subsidizing Cubans' basic food requirements and other products obtainable with a rationing card.

It said, 'The government has maintained people who do not work, giving them the guarantee of a basic food ration, healthcare, education and security.'

Many ordinary Cubans say they often have to be away from work because of the lines created by the constant scarcities, the lack of dependable transportation, bureaucratic red tape of the only communist country in the Americas, and obtaining things they need that aren't supplied by the state.

The Granma report said the idle transmit their 'disease' to their children.

'How difficult it is for the child of such an individual to nurture and later show feelings and convictions identified with work, if since infancy they have received greater benefits and privileges than other schoolmates,' the report asked.

The article also supported President Raul Castro who favours performance-based pay and cutting the generalised subsidies provided to the people in the country.

The president has stressed that his compatriots must feel the 'vital necessity' of working.

'To correct little by little the existing distortions of the salary system, we have to eliminate the unjustified gratuities and excessive subsidies. Otherwise, the accounts simply don't add up,' the president said in Parliament two weeks ago.

'We have to act with realism and adjust our dreams to real possibilities,' Raul Castro said.

Cuba is going through a distressing economic and financial situation, aggravated by three hurricanes that devastated the island in 2008

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