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Oxfam sounds alarm bell on austerity

brussels bureau

Oxfam sounds alarm bell on austerity


Austerity in Europe risks creating a lost generation, according to a new report by Oxfam.

The charity says by 2025 between 15 and 25 million people could be living in relative poverty.

The EU defines relative poverty as those households earning less than 60 percent of median income.

“We have already seen this before, the structural adjustments in South America in the 1980s, and what happened after with the financial crisis in Southeast Asia in the 1990s,” said Natalia Alonso, the head of Oxfam International’s Brussels office.

“These measures were very similar to the austerity measures being applied now. We know the impact they had and we know what was the cause and we have to learn from the history”. “

The group has long argued for a financial transaction tax, which critics say will slow economic growth and hit pension funds.

Oxfam says the poor should not pay for mistakes made by bankers.

“We keep saying for many reasons that there is a huge potential in a mechanism that cane raise funds in this crisis situation, but also to regulate a financial system that created this crisis,” said Alonso.

Eleven EU countries say they will press ahead with the so-called FTT.

But EU lawyers warn it would be against the bloc’s treaties.

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