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The rapid rise of Greece’s nouveaux pauvres [new poor]
Ekathimerini ^ | 06 February 2013 | Sotiris Nikas

Posted on 02/05/2013 5:23:59 PM PST by Lorianne

Almost 400,000 people are believed to have dropped below the poverty line within one year during the country’s financial crisis: In 2011, the number of Greeks living in conditions of poverty or social exclusion reached 3.403 million – up from 3.031 million in 2010, according to Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) figures.

In total, the share of the population considered to be living in poverty amounted to 21.4 percent in 2011, up from 20.1 percent a year earlier.

The poverty line for 2011 was set at an annual income of 5,951 euros, while the respective threshold for 2010 was higher, at 7,178 euros. The population living in households with low labor intensity grew from 619,000 in 2010 to 979,000 in 2011.

The data, released on Tuesday, reveal the consequences of a year and a half of implementation of austerity measures agreed to by Greece with its international creditors. Given that last year saw the application of measures that have led to the continued shrinking of disposable incomes, the poverty figures for 2012 are expected to be even higher.

More worrying is the fact that the social benefits system in Greece appears unable to rectify the situation much: ELSTAT figures show that when benefits are not taken into account, the share of the population below the poverty line in 2011 was at 24.8 percent. This figure drops to 22.9 percent after including benefits, which do not include pensions.

Another point that generates concern is that the share of people who spent 2011 without covering a number of basic needs grew to 28.4 percent, from 24.1 percent in 2010. That means that almost two in every seven people could not afford any four of the following nine costs:

- Payment of fixed bills, such as rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, credit card or homeware repayment installments etc.

- A one-week vacation.

- Food including either chicken or meat or fish or vegetables of similar nutritional value at least every other day.

- Extraordinary but necessary spending amounting to about 540 euros.

- A telephone (including a cell phone).

- A color television.

- A washing machine.

- A private car.

- Satisfactory heating.

Women appear to be more susceptible to poverty than men. According to ELSTAT data, the leap to poverty has become more common among women, with their rate climbing from 16.8 percent in 2010 to 23.5 percent in 2011. Among men the 15.7 percent rate in 2010 soared to 22.4 percent in 2011. Single-parent families were the worst off, as their poverty rate amounted to 43.2 percent in 2011, from 33.4 percent in 2010.

Greek households have suffered the biggest income reduction in the European Union over the course of the crisis period, according to a report by the European Commission.

In the 2008-11 period, households in Greece lost about 17 percent of their disposable income, which is more that of Spanish households (8 percent) and far bigger than those of Cyprus (7 percent) and Ireland (5 percent).

Poverty is bolstered considerably by the rising level of unemployment, which in September amounted to 26 percent in Greece, according to European Commission figures, second only to Spain’s 26.6 percent rate in the eurozone.


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: greece

1 posted on 02/05/2013 5:24:05 PM PST by Lorianne
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To: Lorianne

The “gimmes” are rapidly running out here too and when it does happen it’s Katy bar the door!

(Showing my age with that expression.)


2 posted on 02/05/2013 7:02:03 PM PST by Graybeard58 (_.. ._. .. _. _._ __ ___ ._. . ___ ..._ ._ ._.. _ .. _. .)
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To: Lorianne
WTF does this mean?

Extraordinary but necessary spending amounting to about 540 euros.

3 posted on 02/05/2013 7:05:57 PM PST by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: 2banana

Extraordinary but necessary spending amounting to about 540 euros.


Something essential unexpectedly breaks and needs repair or replacement.

Utility costs rise.

Suddenly, eyeglasses are needed, a tooth abscesses, someone acquires an infection.

These are extra ordinary expenses that cannot be ignored.


4 posted on 02/05/2013 7:26:46 PM PST by reformedliberal
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To: Lorianne

Wimmins and chillren hardest hit, agin’.


5 posted on 02/05/2013 7:28:47 PM PST by pingman (ust)
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To: 2banana

beats me ... sounds contradictory


6 posted on 02/05/2013 7:42:58 PM PST by Lorianne (fedgov, taxporkmoney)
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To: Lorianne

This is happening all over the US (I can only really speak for NJ); we are devolving into a Third World country. Any business or industry that relied on discretionary spending is kaput.


7 posted on 02/05/2013 8:24:58 PM PST by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: Lorianne

It’s nice that Greece gives Obama a goal to shoot for; maybe, if he tries real hard, he can do the same or worse to America.


8 posted on 02/06/2013 1:13:17 AM PST by Jack Hammer
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