Wednesday November 26, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
12o C
9o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
The rapid rise of Greeces nouveaux pauvres

By Sotiris Nikas

Almost 400,000 people are believed to have dropped below the poverty line within one year during the countrys 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 Spains 26.6 percent rate in the eurozone.

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday Jan 9, 2013 (23:20)  
Debtors snap up offer for easier settlements
Belgium gas firm said to be eyeing DESFA
OLP approval paves way for investment in Piraeus
Airport tender exceeds expectations
Hundreds of migrants on crippled ship off Crete
Ships from Greece rushed to help after a crippled freighter crammed with hundreds of migrants floundered for hours Tuesday in gale-force winds and high waves in the Mediterranean Sea, offici...
Policemen suspected of working at Piraeus bar where shooting took place
At least three serving policemen are thought to have been working at the bar in Mikrolimano, Piraeus, where a 31-year-old man opened fire with an AK-47 early on Saturday, resulting in 15 peo...
Inside News
SOCCER
Atletico eyes last 16 berth against Olympiakos
Greek champion Olympiakos faces a tough task if it is to prevent last season's beaten finalist Atletico Madrid sealing its passage into the last 16 of the Champions League at the Vicente Cal...
SOCCER
EPO ends soccer suspension, Super League resumes
Soccer action will resume this weekend after the Super League convened on Monday, elected a new president and alternate president and sent a letter to the soccer federation that assures it t...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Beware of the fallen idols
Akis Tsochatzopoulos, a legendary figure of the Greek socialist movement, a man who came very close to taking over the party that governed the country for half of the time following the fall...
EDITORIAL
The hard truth
The coalition government must tell the truth to the Greek people, even if this entails admitting to mistakes made over the last few months. The countrys citizens are fully aware of how cruc...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Hundreds of migrants on crippled ship off Crete
2. Atletico eyes last 16 berth against Olympiakos
3. Debtors snap up offer for easier settlements
4. Belgium gas firm said to be eyeing DESFA
5. OLP approval paves way for investment in Piraeus
6. Airport tender exceeds expectations
more news
Today
This Week
1. Anastasiades to undergo heart surgery in the US on Dec 4
2. Cargo vessel carrying hundreds of migrants adrift southeast of Crete
3. Trade deficit widens by 8.7 percent during Jan-Sept period, says ELSTAT report
4. Two police officers among 9 arrested for drug trafficking
5. Fraport, Copelouzos offer highest bid for Greek regional airports
6. Stop Mediterranean becoming vast migrant cemetery, Pope tells Europe
Today
This Week
1. Double quake on Atalanti fault line rattles Greek capital [Update]
2. Biden heads to Istanbul amid tension over Cyprus EEZ violation
3. Give Greece a chance
4. Every age has its collaborators
5. Carlsberg takes control of Greek brewer Olympic Brewery [Update]
6. Scientists expand excavation of ancient Amphipolis
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.