• Spain edition
 
Spain's wealth divide widest in Europe: Charity
Some three million Spaniards were living in extreme poverty — or on €307 a month — in 2012, says Spanish charity Cáritas. Photo: xornalcerto/Flickr

Spain's wealth divide widest in Europe: Charity

Published: 14 Oct 2013 13:31 GMT+02:00
Updated: 14 Oct 2013 13:31 GMT+02:00

The gap between Spain's richest and poorest is now the widest in Europe with some three million people living in extreme poverty, a new study reveals.

The richest 20 percent of people in Spain now has seven and a half times more wealth than the poorest 20 percent, according to the study into poverty in Spain by the Catholic charity Cáritas.

This was the widest gap in Europe and 30 percent worse than before the crisis, said the charity.

These findings demonstrate "a situation of neglect, injustice and the dispossession of people's most basic rights", said Cáritas General Secretary Sebastián Mora at a press conference to mark the release of the report.

The most vulnerable members of Spanish society were also the hardest hit, Mora said.

This was because the crisis had "led to weaker family ties and other safety nets, especially in the public sector".

The report reveals that around three million Spaniards were living in extreme poverty — or on €307 a month — in 2012. That's twice the levels seen in 2008, or before Spain's recession hit.

Cáritas also noted how the recession had hit purchasing power: the country's average 2012 salary of €18,500 was lower in real terms that that of 2001, said the charity.

Average salaries, meanwhile, had fallen 4 percent since 2007 while prices had jumped 10 percent in the same period. 

The charity also reported that the number of homes where all household members were unemployed had climbed from 380,000 before the crisis to 1,800,000 at the end of 2012.

The Cáritas report comes only days after Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, slammed child poverty levels in Spain.

"Growing child poverty, malnutrition and inadequate housing are issues of serious concern because of their potentially devastating long-term impact on children and the country," said Muižnieks during the release of a study which shows that child poverty in Spain hit 30 percent in 2011.

Unemployment in Spain is currently running at 26.2 percent according to Eurostat.

George Mills (george.mills@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Barcelona book day hit by author strike
Instead of the anticipated queues for book signings, booths were left vacant as authors abandoned the store. Photo: Twitter

Barcelona book day hit by author strike

People in the Spanish region of Catalonia traditionally celebrate La Diada de Sant Jordi (St. George's Day) by giving each other books, but this year's celebrations have been marred by an author-backed strike at a major city centre book retailer. READ () »

The Local List
Top Ten: Spain's most expensive streets
Spain's most expensive street is not in Madrid or Barcelona. Photo: Wikimedia

Top Ten: Spain's most expensive streets

Spanish property website Idealista has just released a list of the ten most expensive streets in Spain — so what is the most exclusive address in the country? Read on to find out. READ () »

Police chief sacked over Madrid demo turned ugly
Police officers found themselves surrounded and isolated by small groups of violent demonstrators and could not received help from other agents, Spain's top police official explained. Photo: Pedro Arm

Police chief sacked over Madrid demo turned ugly

The head of the anti-riot squad involved a March demonstration in Madrid which turned violent will be removed from his post because of the "intolerable" number of police injured during the event, Spanish authorities said on Wednesday. READ () »

Hamster-sized deer born at Spanish zoo
The newborn deer weighed in at only 100g but should eventually grow to the size of a rabbit. Photo: Fuengirola Bioparc

Hamster-sized deer born at Spanish zoo

A baby Java mouse-deer, the smallest hoofed animal in the world, was recently born at a zoo in in the south of Spain, to the delight of staff. READ () »

Spanish Face of the Week
Judge sells suppers and shirts for campaign cash
Judge Elpidio José Silva is currently suspended after sending a friend of the former Spanish PM to jail. Photo: Wikimedia

Judge sells suppers and shirts for campaign cash

A controversial Spanish anti-corruption judge who is standing as a candidate in May's European elections is selling everything from autographs to coffee-side chats in a bid to raise cash for his campaign. READ () »

Spain revises up growth forecast for 2014–15
Economy Minister Luis de Guindos. File photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP

Spain revises up growth forecast for 2014–15

Spain's government forecast Wednesday faster economic growth in the next two years as the nation emerges from a long downturn with unemployment still topping 26 percent. READ () »

VIDEO: Virgin falls from float in Easter fail
The religious revellers rocked too enthusiastically and caused the Virgin to take a tumble. Screen Grab: YouTube

VIDEO: Virgin falls from float in Easter fail

One of the 28 Easter parades held in Spain's Alicante province last week took an unexpected turn when a statue of the Virgen de los Dolores toppled from her float and almost landed on the heads of her bearers. READ () »

Lost Spanish temple reveals scientific secrets
The light of the moon and the rising sun shines onto the temple walls to reveal hidden symbols. Photo: Flickr/ Juan Fco. Marrero

Lost Spanish temple reveals scientific secrets

A mysterious cave-temple built by the original inhabitants of the Spanish Island of Gran Canaria contains evidence of their advanced knowledge of astronomy, a Spanish archaeologist believes. READ () »

Moody's backs Spain's 'improving' economy
Spain's public finances are said to be "on a gradually improving trend" but "still comparatively weak". Photo: Grumo/Flickr

Moody's backs Spain's 'improving' economy

Credit rating agency Moody's said on Tuesday that Spain is "now firmly on an improving trend" with exports boosting the eurozone's fourth-biggest economy as it crawls out of recession. READ () »

Want citizenship? Take the Spanish culture test
Currently individual judges in Spain set their own criteria for assessing whether applicants should be awarded Spanish citizenship. Photo: Alberto G./Flickr

Want citizenship? Take the Spanish culture test

Immigrants to Spain will have to sit standardized online language and culture tests before being granted citizenship, Spain's justice minister announced in the country national parliament on Tuesday. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
International
British expats flee from crisis-hit Spain
National
Thieves destroy ancient rock painting in Spain
Society
Spain to open first gay old people's home
National
'Monkey Jesus' restorer to star in music video
Culture
Seven surprising facts about Spain's Holy Week
National
Spanish tax office sells bras for extra cash
Society
Abortion Travel: 'The agency that should never exist'
National
Top expat moans about Spain on Twitter
Society
Email gaffe reveals how Spanish firms exploit young workers
National
Man hacks off own fingers in insurance scam
Travel & Tourism
Top ten: Spain's best beaches 2014
National
Lovemaking lands woman at bottom of well
International
Jobless Spaniards to be kicked out of Germany
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Health
Serial texter suffers first case of 'WhatsAppitis'
Politics
Six reasons why Suárez is Spain's best loved PM
Politics
'Energy giants out to kill off Spain's solar sector'
Society
Spain's hottest jobs 2014
National
Man dies while taking selfie on top of train
Society
Spanish PM turns down free English course
Travel & Tourism
Top Ten: Spain's coolest hotels 2014
Culture
A to Z of The Local's picture galleries
Culture
Scientists discover why some of us 'hate' music
Features
How Barcelona is getting it wrong on cannabis
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

1,384
jobs available