What is truth?

Brexit caps off a turbulent decade for the EU. Many in the Eurozone will be hoping that it does not cause further economic turmoil, as it is becoming increasingly clear that the financial crisis of 2008-09 led to a substantial increase in poverty across the continent.

Not only did poverty intensify within those nations that were hardest hit during the crisis and required bailouts, but there has also been a dramatic change in the geography and types of poverty in Europe over the last decade.

So intense has been the crisis in Greece that, by 2013, it experienced a higher level of poverty than any other EU member state. Indeed, in my recent research, I have found that the impoverishment of Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Spain and Portugal has been so severe that these southern European countries, taken together, had higher levels of poverty and deprivation than many of the former Communist nations that joined the European Union in 2004. Specifically, they have been greater than the average of Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary.

Poverty takes many different forms. The EU aims to lift 20m people out of poverty and social exclusion, based on three official measures: relative income poverty (when a person’s income falls far below what is needed to achieve an average standard of living in their country); material deprivation (when people lack a set of basic necessities); and living in a workless household.

To take into account the complexity of poverty, I included four more measures in my research: when people reported that they could make ends meet only with great difficulty; when they experienced neighbourhood problems such as crime or vandalism; poor health; and unmet medical or dental needs.

Bringing together these seven dimensions of poverty, I analysed how they changed over four time periods: 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2013. So, before, during and after the financial crisis, and the ensuing recession.

Surprising findings

Significant changes in the geography of poverty and deprivation in Europe can be seen. The pre-crisis period between 2005 and 2008 was associated with substantial reductions in poverty across Europe. Some of the poorest nations, including Poland and Latvia, saw the largest decrease. These pre-crisis years represented a period of catch-up for some of the poorest member states.

In the initial phase of the Great Recession that followed the financial crisis (2008-11), poverty increased almost everywhere. The largest increases were in Greece, Latvia, Lithuania and Ireland. However, in the second phase of the crisis (2011-13), the picture is less consistent. In ten EU member states, there were modest reductions in poverty, suggesting perhaps that the crisis had ended. In Greece, Portugal, Spain, however, poverty continued to rise sharply and similarly, though not quite as much, in Cyprus.

Many of the nations with the sharpest rises in poverty during the Great Recession – Greece, Cyprus, Portugal and Ireland – are nations that required bailouts from the EU and IMF. The fact that these “bailout nations” were at the sharp end of the crisis may come as no surprise, given the austerity that was demanded of them as a condition of accessing loans from the EU-IMF.

However, two findings are nonetheless striking:

  1. The disappointing performance of the southern European nations predates the crisis itself. These nations largely failed to benefit from the reductions in poverty and deprivation that were experienced elsewhere in the pre-crisis years.
  2. The rise in poverty in Greece has been so great that it has leapfrogged the newer EU member states and now heads the leader-board of poverty and deprivation.

The graph below gives an illustration of how multidimensional poverty levels have changed from 2005 to 2013 for each EU member state (Greece is EL). The poverty levels are based on the simultaneous experience of three or more of the seven dimensions discussed earlier.

Rod Hick

There have also been changes in which EU member state has the greatest number of people experiencing these multiple forms of poverty.

A decade ago, Poland had a greater number of people experiencing multidimensional poverty than any other EU member state. This reflected the lower standard of living in the member states that joined the EU as part of its 2004 enlargement, and the large population size of Poland.

By 2013, however, the combined effect of a partial catch up by the newer member states and disastrous poverty performance of southern Europe meant that Italy now has a greater number of people experiencing multidimensional poverty than any other country in Europe.

The rise in poverty at Europe’s periphery thus reflects not only a deterioration of pre-crisis standards of living within some nations. It shows the more radical shift in the geography of poverty in Europe over the last decade, increasingly concentrated in the south of the continent. This is something the European Union must pay heed to, as it aims to help lift 20m people out of poverty across the continent.

How poverty has radically shifted across Europe in the last decade is republished with permission from The Conversation

The Conversation

Our friends over at  www.wealthbuilder.ie   have sent in their latest stock market brief and it looks like a Buillish outlook ! Take a look below !

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Wealthbuilder Stock Market Brief 23rd July 2016

Ireland’s Law Society

Update: *IMF BOARD EXPRESSES CONFIDENCE IN LAGARDE AFTER TRIAL DECISION

“As we have said before, it would not be appropriate to comment on a case that has been and is currently before the French judiciary,’’ International Monetary Fund spokesman Gerry Rice says in e-mailed statement.

 

“However, the Executive Board has been briefed on recent developments related to this matter, and continues to express its confidence in the Managing Director’s ability to effectively carry out her duties. The Board will continue to be briefed on this matter”

*  *  *

As we detailed earlier, in December we warned of her career’s “terminal decline,” and it appears, just as with Dominic Strauss-Kahn, someone is upset at the IMF Director (perhaps she has just been too darn negative, or pushy towards policy-makers?). In a surprising twist for ‘the establishment’ Bloomberg reports that Christine Lagarde may face consequences for her actions (or lack of them). France’s Supreme Court rules that The IMF director will have to stand trial for alleged “negligence” in accepting an arbitration panel decision in favor of a French businessman.

As we detailed previously,

It was over a year ago when we reported that a French court has put Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, under a formal probe for negligence in a corruption investigation involving famous financier Bernard Tapie, dating back to her days as finance minister.

 

Back then Lagarde said the decision was “without basis,” adding she would challenge it with a higher court. The investigation is part of a complex, drawn-out probe into the alleged misuse of state funds. The case stems from a decision in the 2008 to use arbitration to settle a dispute with business tycoon Bernard Tapie. The arbitration panel awarded €420 million to Mr. Tapie.

 

“The magistrates of the court of justice of the Republic have decided to place me under formal investigation,” Ms. Lagarde said in statement in August of 2014. “After three years of procedure, the sole surviving allegation is that through inadvertence or inattention I may have failed to intervene to block the arbitration that brought to an end the longstanding Tapie litigation,” she added.

 

We said that this development was hardly a shock: after two years ago the news hit that “IMF’s Lagarde Flat Raided Over French ‘Payout’ Probe” with her ascent to the head of the IMF also riddled with numerous allegations of impropriety involving the Tapie matter. However, a year ago, such outside interventions were below the radar, and certainly never escalated to anything formal or official.

 

We left it by wondering who and why had been angered by her policies over the past three years, and who could be her replacement, confident her days as IMF head were over: “as for Lagarde, we are confident she and Angelo Mozillo will have enough fake tanning tips to exchange during their long and worry-free retirement.”

 

Then, in a surprise to us, the Lagarde scandal did what it has done so well for the past 4 years: it went dormant again…

full article at source: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-22/dskd-imfs-lagarde-loses-fight-avoid-french-trial-over-corruption-case

Turkey has said it will suspend the European convention on human rights during a state of emergency declared in the aftermath of last weekend’s coup attempt.

“Turkey will suspend the European convention on human rights insofar as it does not conflict with its international obligations,” the deputy prime minister, Numan Kurtulmus, was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu news agency.

The state of emergency will allow the government to rule by decree, passing bills that have the force of the rule of law unless they are overturned by parliament, where the majority of MPs belong to the ruling Justice and Development (AK) party.

Turkish officials insisted the lives and freedoms of citizens would not be affected, and that western powers such as France had recently taken similar measures. But concerns have mounted among both opponents and allies that the move will further consolidate President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s power.

Kurtulmus said Turkey would take the step “just like France has done under article 15 of the convention,” which allows signatory states to derogate certain rights during times of war or major public emergency.

Article 15 and other international rights treaties allow governments to restrict certain rights, including freedom of movement, expression and association during states of emergency. However, the article stipulates that measures must be strictly proportionate and not discriminate against people based on ethnicity, religion or social group.

A purge of state institutions has seen thousands of people detained, suspended or fired from their jobs over alleged links to the Hizmet movement of Fethullah Gülen, a US-based exiled cleric whom Erdoğan accuses of masterminding the coup attempt.

Erdoğan announced the state of emergency late on Wednesday evening following marathon sessions with top military and cabinet officials.

“The aim of the declaration of the state of emergency is to be able to take fast and effective steps against this threat against democracy, the rule of law and rights and freedoms of our citizens,” Erdoğan said at a press conference on Wednesday night.

Can Dündar, the editor of the opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet, said the emergency state meant Turkey now had “an oppressive regime where the law and liberties will be suspended, press will be censored, and the parliament eliminated”.

Germany’s foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, urged the Turkish government to maintain both the rule of law and a sense of proportion in its response to the coup attempt.

“Only provable involvement in illegal acts, not suspected political leanings, should trigger governmental action,” Steinmeier said. “It’s also critical that the declaration of emergency be the truly necessary length of time, and to end the measure as quickly as possible.”

Tanks and fighter jets commandeered by elite military troops rolled out into the streets of Ankara and Istanbul during the attempted putsch. More than 200 people were killed and thousands were wounded in the violence and Erdoğan narrowly escaped being detained at the holiday resort of Marmaris.

The government said it had arrested another soldier involved in the Marmaris raid, which occurred 20 minutes after Erdoğan had left the residence.

The Turkish leader has been accused of increasing authoritarianism in recent years,appointing loyalists to the bureaucracy, closing or prosecuting opposition media outlets and failing to crack down on corruption.

source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/21/turkey-parliament-expected-to-pass-erdogan-emergency-measures

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