‘New’ economy, poverty for German pensioners, Greeks

This Euronews Business video says about itself:

20 February 2015

Over 12.5 million Germans are now living below the poverty line which is the highest number on record since reunification [of West and East Germany] 25 years ago.

Berlin, the capital of the eurozone’s economic powerhouse is one of the poorest regions in Germany.

The figures come in a report by one of the country’s welfare organisations.

The poverty threshold was calculated at 892 euros a month for a single household and 1,873 euros for a family of four.

Berlin with 21.4 percent falling into the poor category is well above the country’s average.

Read more here.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Poverty in Germany: ‘The only thing I can economize on is food’

Today, 20:56

According to many, it is an underexposed theme in the German election campaign: poverty among the elderly. Economically, Germany is doing well

for rich people

, but not everyone benefits from it. Many older people have hardship and in the future the Altersarmut [poverty of elderly people] can become a much bigger problem.

By 2015, around 5.7 million elderly people lived below the poverty line. In 2010, this was 4.9 million. Due to increasing aging, it is expected that in 2022 one fifth of all Germans from over 55 will live in poverty. These people have to live at less than 958 euros a month.

At the food bank in the Berlin district of Köpenick, volunteer Annette Meisen has for a long time seen an increase in the number of elderly people. “At first, the numbers of unemployed people and elderly people were equal, now it is clearly more elderly people. It is mostly people from the [former] German Democratic Republic who could not find decent work after the fall of the Berlin wall.”

But not only that, another volunteer adds. “Germany has only had a minimum wage for two years, many people have worked for 3 to 4 euros per hour for a lifetime.

As with Frank (72, last name he does not want to say). Frank worked in several factories, at several jobs. “I worked from my fifteenth to sixtiest. I always thought that my income was OK, but obviously it was not enough.” His pension is less than 850 euros per month and therefore he is dependent on the food bank.

He has to adjust his life. “I get a lot less outside, can not go on holiday anymore.” And he says, laughing, “I’m going a lot less often to the pub, but maybe that is not so bad!” To earn something, he sells Christmas trees in November and December ….

Lioba Bichl (76) also criticizes politics. And she expressed that recently during a live broadcast on German television against Chancellor Merkel. “I can only live if I’m stingy”, she says. “But the only thing I can economize on is food, the rest is fixed and I have to pay that.”

According to Bichl, many things are wrong with pension schemes in Germany. …

The problems are likely to grow for Bichl next year. “I’m lucky I’m still living comparatively cheaply, but my house will be demolished next year, and then I have to move to a house that will costs 180 euros a month more. How I’ll do that, I do not know yet.”

The tight pensions cause many older people to still have to work in their old age. Many of them have jobs, and in cities you often find people stumbling down the streets looking for deposit bottles. Also elderly people like Alex (60). …

Alex was a carpenter until he could do that no more. Now he collects bottles. “I’ve been doing it for ten years. What I find, I take, and I do that daily until about 10 in the evening.” For fear of his Grundsicherung [low level income for elderly people] being cut because of his additional earnings, he would rather stay anonymous.

This video says about itself:

Rampant poverty in Greece | Made in Germany

22 February 2017

Many Greeks cannot make ends meet after years of an imploding economy and austerity imposed by the country’s creditors. They need help, often in the form of free food, free meals and free medical care.

See also here.

Last Saturday, several thousand people took to the streets of Frankfurt against the housing shortage and exploding rents. The “anti-rent-mania” demonstration, in which an alliance of over 30 initiatives participated, drew around 8,000 people: here.

Almost one in six people in Germany lives in poverty. This is the headline finding in the Poverty Report 2019 prepared by the organisation Paritätische Wohlfahrtsverband (Joint Welfare Association). According to the report, 15.5 percent of the population are poor: here.

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