Portugal has highest rate of social and financial inequality

PORTUGAL HAS the largest gulf between rich and poor in the European Union, according to a recent study.

“In Portugal the rich are richer and the poor are poorer,” said João José Fernandes, the President of Oikas – a non-governmental body for development and co-operation.

According to the report, 17 per cent of the nation’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of just 100 people while 20 per cent of the nation’s wealthiest businessmen control 45.9 per cent of Portugal’s total GNP.

For José Fernandes, these statistics show that Portugal needs a new policy for fairer distribution of these funds while needing to face up to the social and political consequences of inequality.

He joined a host of Portuguese organisations on World Poverty Eradication Day, which were calling for a public debate on inequality and society’s apathy towards poverty.

The statistics show that one in every five Portuguese live on the breadline but that poverty isn’t caused by a lack of money in the country.

In a recent survey, 40 per cent of women claimed that their basic necessities were not being satisfied.

These figures demonstrate, according to Oikas, that the perception of what constitutes poverty for the poor is very different from what the wider population thinks is poverty.