Sunday, July 17, 2011

14 percent of Italians live in poverty

A poverty-stricken Italian (file photo)

Source: Press TV

New official data have revealed that more than eight million Italians, constituting almost 14 percent of the country's population, live in relative poverty.

From among the same number, more than 3 million, over five percent of the whole population, live in “absolute poverty,” unable to procure their most basic needs and services, according to the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), DPA reports.

Furthermore, every one out of five Italian households lives under the poverty line. In the country's southern regions, every one out of two households lives in the same condition.

The level of poverty has risen among families with two or three young children or more, families with an elderly relative, and single-parent families.

Poverty has risen to 30 percent from 25 percent among families of five or more people and it has similarly risen from 6.6 percent to 10.4 percent among single-parent families.

In southern Italy, where economic development lags behind other regions of the country, the poverty rate stood at 47.3 percent in 2010, up from 36.7 percent in 2009.

Meanwhile, the Italian parliament has approved an austerity bill, mandating EUR 48-billion budget cuts to address the country's budget deficit, which the senate had earlier passed.

The unpopular austerity cuts target funding to local governments and health services, and plan to raise the retirement age.

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