How could you translate Greek Humans in Need ? You created a monster, Europe, that ate the “86% of the flesh of the poor”. Here are the numbers

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How do you capture the humanitarian crisis in numbers?

Add, may be together the suicides (more than 4,000 since beginning of the crisis),count the many soup kitchens and charity clinics, pharmacies and municipality grocery shops for the poor, determine the number of homeless and the number of households without electricity due to outstanding debts to the power company? Or may be take into account the families living on borrowed money and the ones sought shelter in family’s and relatives homes because they cannot afford to pay rent?

Should all debtors in despair come out and raise hands, wrote Keep talking Greece in February, while Alexis Tsipras government was desperately trying to presuade Eurozone Leaders, that such a Crisis does exist (!) as the most tragic Emergency on Humanitarian meanings of today’s western world.

But the most shocking part of all, is the non-humanitarian , ugly capitalistic result of this crisis, where, according to German official research, is the burden to the poor, the low-incomers, the low-pensioners and even the jobless appears proved to be  over-proportional when compared to the  economically better society classes.

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This is the result of  the German Institute for Macroeconomic Research (IMK)- affiliated with the Hans Böckler Foundation-, that has analyzed 260.000 tax and income data from the years 2008 – 2012.
According to the study
  • . The poorest households in the debt-ridden country lost nearly 86% of their income, while the richest lost only 17-20%.
  •  The tax burden on the poor increased by 337% while the burden on upper-income classes increased by only 9%
The study that has analyzed 260.000 tax and income data from the years 2008 – 2012, and still has left out of the study the poisonous years of Mr. Samaras governance, where life was made impossible for more and moremiddle class and low incomers, who often have decided ,due to despair , to give their life an end.
– The nominal gross income of Greek households decreased by almost a quarter in only four years.
– The wages cuts caused nearly half of the decline.
– The net income fell further by almost 9 percent, because the tax burden was significantly increased
–  While all social classes suffered income losses due to cuts, tax increases and the economic crisis, particularly strongly affected were households of low- and middle-income. This was due to sharp increase in unemployment and tax increases, that were partially regressive.
– The total number of employees in the private sector suffered significantly greater loss of income, and they were more likely to be unemployed than those employed in the public sector.
-From 2009 to 2013 wages and salaries in the private sector declined in several stages at around 19 percent. Among other things, because the minimum wage was lowered and collective bargaining structures were weakened. Employees in the public sector lost around a quarter of their income.
-The extent of the wages cuts were grossly overstated at least ten percentage points, the study researchers estimate.
Unemployment & Early Retirement

Unemployment surged from 7.3% in the Q2 2008 to 26.6% in the Q2 2014. among youth aged 15-24, unemployment had an average of 44%.

Early retirement in the Private Sector increased by 14%.

Early retirement in the Public Sector* increased by 48%

The researchers see here a clear link to the austerity policy, that’s is the Greek government managed to fulfill the Troika requirements for smaller public sector. However, this trend caused a burden to the social security funds.

Taxes
Taxes were greatly increased, but they had a regressive effect.

Since beginning of the austerity, direct taxes increased by nearly 53%,  while indirect taxes increased by 22 percent.
The taxation policy has indeed contributed  significantly to the consolidation of the public budget, but by doing so the social imbalance was magnified.
Little has been done against tax avoidance and tax evasion, however, the tax base was actually extended “downwards” with the effect that households with low-income and assets were strongly burdened.

Particularly poorer households paid disproportionately more in taxes and the tax burden to lower-income rose by 337%. In comparison, the tax burden to upper-income households rose by only 9%.
The Poor suffered more
The losses were significantly different to each income class with the poorest households to have suffered the biggest losses.
Almost one in three Greek household had to make it through 2012 with an annual income below €7,000.
Income losses 2008-2012
1. Class: i.e. 10% of Greek total: households that have lowest income: loss 86%
2. and 3. class: loss between 51% and 31%
4. – 7. class: households with higher income: loss between 25% and 18%
8. Class: 30% of Greek total: households with the highest income: loss between 20% and 17%.
On average, the annual income of Greek households before taxes fell from €23,100 euros in 2008 to just below €17,900 euros in 2012. This represents a loss of nearly 23 percent.
Greece-humanitarian-crisis
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