Poverty is not only shaking EU countries such as Greece, Spain and Portugal but also the euro zone’s biggest economies.
France’s Socialist prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault at a conference on Tuesday promised that Paris would spend some two and a half billion euros in a five-year poverty reduction plan.
This is aimed at the more than 8 million people who live on less than 60% of the average income in France.
At least 14 percent of its population fit that description, and the incidence is far higher in some areas.
The French poverty line is officially 964 euros for a single person per month. And this is the euro zone’s second-richest country, after Germany.
France will boost the minimum subsidy paid to jobless people to equal half the minimum wage of 1,100 euros.
Free health care access will be extended to half a million more people, added to today’s roughly four and a half million people.
Thousands more places will be made available at shelter for people with nowhere to live, and a household debt warning system will be developed.
In the euro zone’s third-largest economy, Italy, a map has been made public showing where the poor can get free meals and lodging in Rome. Its statistics agency’s latest findings show that more than 28% of Italians were already suffering close to the poverty line or below it in 2011. The average income for a person considered poor here is just over 700 euros per month.
Critics accuse outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti of mismanaging austerity policy. Growth is at 2.3 percent; unemployment is around 11 percent and household consumption has fallen by more than three percent – from efforts to halve the bloated national borrowing rate, from when Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi held office.
The climb in poverty trends is even evident in Germany, the leading euro zone economy, which is not applying austerity policies.
Its national statistics show that nearly 16 percent of Germans were living below the poverty line in 2011 – again, measured as 60 percent of the average wage, or 940 euros per month.
- 1Leaders ‘influenced Putin’ over Savchenko release, say Ukraine pilot’s lawyers
- 2Third night of riots rock Barcelona’s Gràcia district
- 3Faster internet speeds for Europe from Microsoft and Facebook
- 4Austria launches probe into alleged postal vote irregularities
- 5Groundbreaking study sheds light on Neanderthal life
- 1The nuclear waste site at the heart of Canada’s wildfires
- 2Turkey warns EU migrant deal could collapse if visa-waiver isn’t speeded up
- 3Eurozone ministers agree “breakthrough” deal with Greece
- 4More fuel frustration as French pickets refuse to back down
- 5Ukrainian pilot Savchenko back in Kyiv after 2 years in Russian jail
- 1EgyptAir crash: airline says Flight MS804 wreckage found
- 2The nuclear waste site at the heart of Canada’s wildfires
- 3Venezuela economy fractured with shortages of essentials across the country
- 4Crimean Tatars look for Eurovision boost on day of national tragedy
- 5Emergency response: inside Ecuador’s disaster zones
Latest world news
Faster internet speeds for Europe from Microsoft and Facebook
Russia says Savchenko exchange deal was not linked to Minsk accords
Donald Trump wins enough delegates to clinch Republican nomination
Leaders ‘influenced Putin’ over Savchenko release, say Ukraine pilot’s lawyers
Austria launches probe into alleged postal vote irregularities
Wires > News
- 01:31 CET Judge seals all video depositions in Clinton email case -The Hill
- 01:30 CET France sends underwater probes to EgyptAir search zone
- 01:17 CET Panama’s top court seeks extradition of ex-president Martinelli…
- 00:46 CET Pentagon says China aircraft intercept violated 2015 agreement
- 00:25 CET Nigeria minister wants Delta grievances addressed as Chevron…
- 00:20 CET Ivory Coast arrests man suspected of link to Grand Bassam hotel…
- 00:10 CET Guinea Bissau president names Baciro Dja as prime minister
- 00:06 CET Vietnam restricted access to Facebook during Obama visit -…