Greeks 40% poorer than in 2008 but EU demands more cuts

Greeks are on average almost 40 per cent poorer than five years ago but the EU is demanding further austerity cuts in Greece.

According to unnamed European officials, the EU/IMF/ECB Troika will not back down over demands for further cuts to fill an estimated €2bn funding gap in Greece next year and claims that the Greek government’s budget plans as unreliable.

The growth in poverty lays bare the impact of brutal EU austerity measures the government may be forced to extend into next year.

Greece is at loggerheads with the Troika over the size of its 2014 budget deficit.

The discrepancy has prompted talk that Athens – which has ruled out across-the-board cuts in wages or pensions – may be forced to adopt new austerity measures.

Spending cuts, mass privatisation and tax hikes to meet the terms of its bailouts, coupled with record unemployment, have eroded domestic consumption, which in Greece accounts for about three-quarters of gross domestic product.

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