News Column

Rich-Poor Gap Deepens in Crisis-Hit Spain

March 20, 2013
spain, economic crisis, rich-poor gap

Madrid (dpa) - The income gap between the richest and poorest people in Spain has grown by 30 percent during the economic crisis, the Catholic charity Caritas said Wednesday.

The income of the poorest segment of the population has fallen by 5 per cent annually since 2006, according to the report. The super rich earn about seven times as much as the poorest on the average.

About 21 percent of Spaniards are classified as living in poverty or on the threshold of poverty, a Caritas spokeswoman told dpa. The definition of poverty is not only based on income, but also on other factors, such as the length of a person's unemployment.

The income gap is among the widest in the European Union, according to the organization.

Caritas attributes the growth of poverty to unemployment -- currently at 26 percent -- falling salaries, cuts in social benefits, and some tax hikes.

Spain's gross domestic product contracted by 1.4 percent in 2012, and is not expected to start growing again until the end of the year.

"The strong growth of social unequality reveals a fractured society," Caritas Secretary General Sebastian Mora said.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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