Friday, February 17, 2012

Structural Adjustment, Austerity, and Poverty in Greece

New Poor Grows From Greek Middle Class By Johannes Korge and Ferry Batzoglou, Der Spiegel 17 February 12

[excerpted] "Athens has always had a problem with homelessness, like any other major city. But the financial and debt crises have led poverty to slowly but surely grow out of control here. In 2011, there were 20 percent more registered homeless people than the year before. Depending on the season, that number can be as high as 25,000. The soup kitchens in Athens are complaining of record demand, with 15 percent more people in need of free meals. 

Many of those belong to what is called the "new poor" here. "It really started about two years ago," Stamatogiannopoulou says. Suddenly, it wasn't just people with psychological problems or drug addictions who were knocking on the organization's red wooden door. "The middle class is increasingly becoming our target group," she says..."

Majia here: Austerity, as in the forms of the structural adjustments that have been imposed in Ireland and Greece, collapses economies and provide the wealthiest opportunities for purchasing privatized assets at fire sale prices.

Poverty results as wealth is transferred from the people and the state to elite, typically international, groups.

Please see the following for further explication of the asset grab by the wealthy that is called structural adjustment or austerity.


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