Over 2.3 mln Greeks living below poverty line in 2010

By Sotiris Nikas

The number of people in Greece classified as living below the poverty line reached 2.34 million in 2010, according to a report released by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) on Friday.

That was the first year that the austerity measures imposed by Greece?s creditors caem into force, while household spending has decreased further in the two years since then.

ELSTAT set the poverty line at 6,591 euros per person per year for 2010, while the average per capita income that year stood at 12,637 euros. A total of 901,190 households were found to be living below the poverty line. On average, households spent 1,956 euros per month, down from the 2,065 euros per month that they spent in 2009. Most cuts were in apparel purchases (13.5 percent year-on-year) and communications (12.5 percent). Spending on tobacco and alcohol remained unchanged.

The report highlights the fact that Greece is among the European countries with the greatest financial inequalities, as the richest 20 percent of the population had an annual income that was six times that of the poorest 20 percent.