Monday was the World Day for the Eradication of Poverty, established in 1993 by the United Nations. Poverty and inequality are the major problems in Italy and in Europe. But what is even more serious is that it gets worse every year for us Italians. According to the latest figures from ISTAT, Eurostat, SVIMEZ and Censis, we are experiencing a real social and democratic emergency.
“Our social protection system is among the less effective in Europe and is unable to cope with the increase of inequality and poverty.” This was the statement given May 20 in the House of Representatives by the President of ISTAT, Giovanni Alleva, during the presentation of the 2016 report on the situation of the country.
Inequality and poverty increase, despite the economic growth. The figures are dramatic and at the same time unambiguous: the GINI index of income inequality rose from 0.40 to 0.51 between 1990 and 2011. This shows Italy had the worst increase in Europe after Britain, where the index is locked at 0.52. More than 28 percent of the population is at risk of poverty, especially in the south. Nearly 5 million Italians live in absolute poverty; this number has tripled over the last eight years. On the other hand, the number of billionaires increased to 342, showing that there is wealth, but the system redistributes it upwards.