jueves, 11 de octubre de 2012


Four different news items related with our last entry were published this week.  First of all, we will refer to the so called Red Cross “Día de la Banderita” (Little Flag Day). Every year, thousand of Red Cross volunteers take the streets carrying piggy banks asking for money.  People give some coins (or bank notes) and they receive in return Red Cross stickers (“”banderitas”). The amount collected goes to specific vulnerable groups abroad: starving population in African countries, poor people affected by the earthquake in Haiti or the tsunami in the Indian Ocean and so on. But this year the Red Cross Day was different. For the first time in history the money shall be used to fight poverty in Spain. This shows the current importance of poverty affecting Spanish people.  I suggest you to click the following link:

It’s a commercial (in Spanish) encouraging people to donate money to the Red Cross. The most striking image is the moment when volunteers aid to a father sharing a one-egg omelette between his two children.

Also regarding poverty, UNICEF has warned about the impact of the crisis on child poverty. 2.267.000 Spanish children (25%) are living bellow the poverty threshold (+ 4% than 2011). More than a half of them (14’4 %) suffer from severe poverty.

It’s hardly surprising this situation taking into account that Spanish households loss 18’4% of their wealth in 2011. According to the Global Wealth Report by Credit Suisse is the largest drop of the Eurozone.

And finally we deal with the question of inequality. Eurostat shows an increasing gap between poor and rich people after the onset of the crisis. In fact never inequality had never before been higher. 34 was the Spanish Gini Coefficient in 2011, in other words, the worst EU score out of Latvia. But results can be worse. According to the so called “Ratio 80/20” (relation between the richest 20% and the poorest 20%), Spain is the winner in inequality (7’5) ahead of Latvia (7’3) and far away from Germany (4’6) or Norway (3’3).

Nevertheless, I’m deeply convinced that the most important finding is that all those reports agree that the source of poverty and inequality is unemployment, lower salaries and wages and social cuts. Austerity policies, in other words. Meanwhile, Van Rompuy today announced that Spain is in the right track. Astonishing!

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