Inequalities grow among Greeks

Greece has emerged as a champion in inequality among the member-states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), whose most recent report found that across its 34 member-states inequalities in general became more acute last year.

The OECD stressed that it is fundamental to sustainable development for inequalities to be reduced through the creation of quality jobs, the increased participation of women in labor and the leveling of salaries made by men and women in the same jobs.

In Greece’s case in particular, the data are very worrying: The poverty rate soared from 11 percent in 2007 to 32 percent in 2013, with 20 percent of children and young people living below the poverty line. The richest 10 percent controls 25 percent of disposable income against the share of 2 percent that is controlled by the poorest 10 percent.

Across the OECD’s members, the richest 10 percent of the population has an income that is 10 times higher than the income of the poorest tenth of the population.

The biggest inequalities were recorded in the USA, Israel, Turkey, Mexico and Chile, while the best balance is seen in Denmark, Slovenia, Slovakia and Norway.

In the period from 2007 to 2011 almost all OECD member-states saw their household income stay unchanged or drop slightly, especially in the countries mostly hurt by the financial crisis.

In Greece, however, the decline came to 8 percent, against just over 3.5 percent in Spain, Ireland and Iceland.

That, in fact, only shows one side of the reality. The income of the poorest 10 percent in Spain declined by 13 percent in that period, against a reduction of just 1.5 percent for the richest tenth of the population. According to recent OECD reports, the increase in income inequalities in the long run tends to hamper long-term growth.

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