Europe is not an Island
Deep poverty does exist in Europe. And it is time for action. The EU's target is to reduce poverty by lifting 20 million people out of the risk of poverty or social exclusion by 2020. According to figures from Eurostat 50 million of europeans out of a total of about 500 million people live in households where no one has a job. Child poverty is currently on the rise in the majority of European countries. One out of four children is at risk of poverty. 40 million people suffer from severe material deprivation. And of course with the crisis the risk of poverty or exclusion particularly in southern european countries is constantly growing. Perhaps more worrisome is the fact that european countries are drifting apart. If we consider the question of unemployment Austria has an unemployment rate of about 4.5% compared to to 26.6% in Spain where 3 million people depend on help to survive. Many organizations are supporting the less fortunate . The Red Cross stressed that the food aid distributed to people in Europe has reached levels not seen since World War II. Fortunately the social welfare is a shock absorber in many european countries. Now a significant improvement of the situation in Europe requires a sustained economic growth. Because the fight against unemployment is the key element to substantially reduce poverty. And for the time being the world economy has shown confligting, yet positive signs. Today we start worrying about the emerging countries !