More than one third of the Greek population is at risk of poverty or social exclusion. We have been reading this since 2012, occasionally it is been officially confirmed by European statistics authorities like the Eurostat. In the first two years of bailout agreements, the rates were below 30%. But they kept rising. Last year, they reached 35.6%. However, they are still lower than other EU members states like Bulgaria and Romania, although the two are not members of the eurozone and therefore the economic conditions cannot be compared with each other.
In 2016, more than a third of the population was at risk of poverty or social exclusion in Bulgaria (40.4%), Romania (38.8%) and Greece (35.6%), the Eurostat said in its latest statement.
The at-risk-of-poverty or social exclusion rate has grown from 2008 in ten Member States, with the highest increases being recorded in Greece (from 28.1% in 2008 to 35.6% in 2016, or +7.5 percentage points).
Persons at-risk-of-poverty are those living in a household with an equivalised disposable income below the risk-of-poverty threshold, which is set at 60% of the national median equivalised disposable income (after social transfers).
A 17.2% of the EU population in 2016 were at risk of poverty after social transfers, meaning that their disposable income was below their national at-risk-of-poverty threshold.
In the EU in 2016, 7.5% of the population were severely materially deprived, meaning that they had living conditions constrained by a lack of resources such as not being able to afford to pay their bills, keep their home adequately warm, or take a one week holiday away from home. This proportion of persons severely materially deprived in the EU has decreased compared with both 2015 (8.1%) and 2008 (8.5%).
‘Disposable income’,’equivalised income’, ‘poverty threshold’ and other nicely meaningful statistical terms have no meaning at all if no action is taken.
On the contrary: Greece’s lenders have pushed for the taxation of those whose annual income is below the EU’s poverty threshold at 6,000 euros.
I suppose, statistics information serves only the statistics and is for the sake of statistics only.
In 2015, the at risk of poverty rate was at 36.7%. Apparently that was the reason for Greece’s lenders to demand scrapping the poverty allowance for low-pensioners…