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Oxfam: Up to 25 million more Europeans at risk of poverty by 2025 if austerity drags on

by Melanchthon Thu Sep 12th, 2013 at 10:11:58 AM EST

A Cautionary Tale - The true cost of austerity and inequality in Europe

It could take up to 25 years to regain living standards prior to the economic crisis

If left unchecked, austerity policies could put between 15 and 25 million more Europeans at risk of poverty by 2025 - nearing the population of the Netherlands and Austria combined. This would bring the number of people at risk of poverty in Europe up to 146 million, over a quarter of the population, warns international agency Oxfam as EU Finance Ministers meet in Vilnius tomorrow.

Oxfam's new report, A Cautionary Tale Full report(pdf), Executive summary (pdf), finds that austerity measures introduced to balance the books following the €4.5 trillion bank bail-out are instead causing more poverty and inequality that could last for the next two decades.

Meanwhile, austerity is failing to cut debt ratios, as it was supposed to, or trigger inclusive economic growth.

European austerity programs have dismantled the mechanisms that reduce inequality and enable equitable growth.

With inequality and poverty on the rise, Europe is facing a lost decade. An additional 15 to 25 million people across Europe could face the prospect of living in poverty by 2025 if austerity measures continue. Oxfam knows this because it has seen it before.

The austerity programs bear a striking resemblance to the ruinous structural adjustment policies imposed on Latin America, South-East Asia, and sub-Saharan African in the 1980s and 1990s. These policies were a failure: a medicine that sought to cure the disease by killing the patient. They cannot be allowed to happen again.

And speaking of bad medicine, I recently saw an article about a boy from "a southern european country" being treated in Sweden for trafic injuries. Then it was discovered he was also the hospitals first case ever of ESBL Carba, a highly infectious, dangerous, antibiotic resistent bacteria.

Bacteria does not respect boundaries between current account surplus countries and current account deficit countries. But I guess somebody very wealthy has to discover that on their own before it matters.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Sep 12th, 2013 at 03:11:33 PM EST
'Austerity programs' had and have no economic justification. They are merely excused for the powerful to plunder the weak while remaining self-righteous through presumptions of cultural superiority.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Sep 12th, 2013 at 11:32:00 PM EST

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