In Rome, thousands of Italians marched on Saturday calling on the Eurozone to “Give Greece a Chance”.
On Sunday protests took place in London, Madrid and other European cities, but also continents, -USA -Australia & Canada- demanding the Greek Breath of Dignity
Angela Merkel’s conservatives in Hamburg, on Sunday, we underline, suffered the worst election result since WWII Anti-euro Alternative for Germany (AfD) party looked set to win its first seats in a regional assembly in west of the country, by the CDU loss of 22 percentage points in the election – one of its worst ever regional results. Looking more closely,
Greece, Ireland, Spain, Italy and Hungary were the EU member states where poverty and social exclusion increased the most during the economic crisis, according to the European Commission’s Annual Review on employment and social developments in 2014
As regards Greece, in particular,
- the percentage of the population on the verge of poverty or social exclusion increased from 28.1 pct in 2008 to 35.7 pct in 2013, while
- serious deprivation of basic goods increased in the country from 11.2 pct in 2008 to 20.3 pct in 2013. Also,
- long-term unemployment in Greece rose from 3.7 pct in 2008 to 18.6 pct in 2013, while
- the employment rate of the economically active population (25-64 age group) dropped during that period from 61.9 pct to 49.3 pct.
Greece, by the way, according to a Parliamentary Budget Office report, is the only EU country not to have implemented a guaranteed minimum income and is among the most sluggish in adopting programmes to address social inequality and aid citizens living in extreme poverty and social exclusion,
This is despite the fact that six in ten citizens are living in or at risk of poverty, the PBO report (pdf) said.
- The shocking report of the Parliamentary Budget Office for the economic situation of Greek households has revealed that
- approximately 6.3 million Greeks (some 58.3% on a total population of around 11 million according to the census of 2011) are threatened by poverty leaving
- 2.5 million Greeks below the poverty line,
- and 3.8 million in direct danger of crossing the poverty line.
“The demand for social responsibility on the part of citizens is pronounced but what the state offers is characterized by fragmentation and administrative problems.
Thus the social safety net is characterized by inefficiency, while at the same time there are no expectations that income loss due to the economic downturn will be replenished in the near future,” the report had stated, back in September 2014, when Samaras’ government was reigning
” Tsipras government gives other leaders, particularly Renzi and Hollande, strong support in their negotiations with [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel to loosen the purse strings,” explained Luca Fantacci, an economist and the author of Saving the Market from Capitalism. “And this is beneficial not only for Greece, but for the whole eurozone – which is being choked by austerity.“
“The problem [for Italy and others] is how to make them politically viable. It shows that the current form of the monetary union is untenable.”
According to the European Commission review, in Greece, Spain, France and Italy the percentage of the transition from part-time to permanent job status was among the lowest in the EU during the economic crisis, while in Greece and Portugal, 25 pct of the people working part-time within a year were jobless or inactive.
Participation in education was a victim of the economic crisis, according to the European Commission, which in certain countries remained unchanged during the crisis (Greece, Italy, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia) or was reduced (Poland, Hungary).