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Poverty in the EU: a minimum income?

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Poverty in the EU: a minimum income?

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Fatima Mostaine gets one thousand euros a month to pay all her family expenses.

As she has done over the past five years.

Her three kids are growing up now….and she says she wants to be more independent and earn her own money.

So she’s been taking part in the Miriam project that helps her to find a job and give her counselling on social issues.

“Before I was said, I thought… even though i have the money from the CPAS, I did not know many things, the legislation here… but with the MIRIAM project i learned a lot. They showed us how to find a house, how to get the energy, how to get a job,” she said.

Quentin Pattyn runs the Miriam project in the Molenbeek neighbourhood of Brussels.

He says state help with financing was really important.

“A project like this one can work if, but as always, it is a matter of subsidies,” he said. “We really want that the users; the beneficiary; to become empowered; to act in order to improve their situation”

EU figures show one hundred and twenty million people are at risk of falling into poverty.

Governments want to cut that figure by 20 million by 2020.

A majority of MEPs reckon minimum income schemes are one of the most effective ways to lift people out of poverty.

Conservatives say free markets and free trade are the ways to do that.

Mikkel Barslund; economist, research fellow at CEPS, told euronews that some people “see expanding minimum incomes as providing a disincentive for people to actually seek work.”

“I think that economists can disagree about how large this incentives would be, but it is definitely a point that some member states will surely pursue in this debate,” he said.