Eurozone nations must act now to prevent creating a further 4.5 million unemployed workers in the next four years, the head of the UN's labour agency warned on Wednesday.
"The eurozone is facing its worst crisis since the creation of the single currency," International Labour Organization Director-General Juan Somavia told reporters at the launch of a report on the eurozone crisis.
"Unemployment is on the rise in the majority of the 17 members and if policy does not change quickly, it is possible that 4.5 million jobs will be lost in the next four years," he said.
Somavia said that the ILO had long warned against austerity measures as a way out of financial difficulties.
He added that unless all eurozone members embraced a growth strategy with jobs at its core, even the wealthiest countries would be hit.
"Recovery is still possible within a single currency setting, but the window of opportunity is closing," he said.