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POVERTY

"Shocking" rise in food parcel handouts in UK blamed on welfare reforms

Britain's largest food bank provider, the Trussell Trust, says it has handed out more than 900,000 food parcels in the last year, up from 350,000 the year before, a rise it calls "shocking". The Trust has blamed rising prices and government changes to the welfare system for some of that increase, saying delays in providing payments mean people are going hungry.

Italy's poor forced to live in squats / Clashes as Rome police move to evict squatters

Italy's recession, the worst since World War II, has had a devastating effect on many ordinary Italians, squeezed hard by tax rises and an alarming unemployment rate, currently at a record 13 percent. The country's traditional family support network has come under increasing strain, and rights groups say more should be done to turn the capital's unused public offices and empty army barracks into council houses.

Clashes broke out at an abandoned office block in Rome on Wednesday as scores of riot police moved to evict some 350 poor families who had occupied the building because of a chronic housing crisis in the city.

Italians in Genoa 'can't afford to pay for funerals'

Italians hit by the economic crisis in the north-eastern city of Genoa are unable to pay for burials, leaving one local funeral home with a €500,000 bill last year alone.

UK middle-class hollowed out with economic insecurity

People know that work no longer guarantees the better future for their families they used to expect. They are asking: what kind of work, what kind of wages – and what kind of prospects?

Let them eat cake: Italian politicians 'wasted €2m' on fine wine and caviar

Sixty-four politicians from the regional council of Lombardy, one of Italy’s wealthiest regions, have been accused of squandering almost €2.14 million worth of public funds on everything from premium wine and caviar to jars of Nutella and placing bets.

Broken Country: Charities step up to help feed Greek children

Greece's economy has shrunk by a quarter in the past four years - and relentless spending cuts have left their mark on the most vulnerable in society. Many unemployed parents now have to rely on charity handouts to feed their children and keep them in school.

Broken Country: Charities step up to help feed Greek children

Despair and poverty turn French to far-right

The far right National Front (FN) party are making footholds across France with voters saying the economic recession has prompted them to switch over to more extreme parties in advance of the nationwide local elections.

184 Spaniards a day kicked out of their homes

The full scope of Spain's evictions epidemic has been revealed in figures from the General Council of the Judiciary which show that 67,189 people lost their homes in 2013.

Italy: 'Desperate' mother kills her three daughters

A woman in northern Italy killed her three children over the weekend, reportedly telling police afterwards that she was "desperate" and in poverty after her husband left the family.

Homelessness and foul play at the bottom end of the housing market

Homelessness is rising in Britain, according to new figures from the Department for Communities.

The number of rough sleepers has leapt up by 37 percent in the last three years.

Greece grapples with soaring numbers of abandoned children and babies

First came the rising rates of homelessness. Then, the explosive growth of suicides. Now, four years into a devastating financial crisis, Greece’s youngest citizens are falling through the cracks of the country’s disheveled society.

'When need is stronger than shame': Charities are last hope for more Germans

European politicians are in high spirits, as the latest statistics show a modest recovery across the euro zone. Germany performed slightly better than expected in the last quarter. The country is seen as the main driver of the European economy, and yet the number of Germans living below the poverty line has actually risen in recent years.

'When need is stronger than shame': Charities are last hope for more Germans

Queues at Spanish supermarket for free water and bread sign of the times

A supermarket in Valencia is flooded with desperate customers every time it offers 200 free bottles of water and bread baguettes at 9 o’clock in the morning.

Protesters clash with police, set govt buildings ablaze in Bosnia

Thousands of people across Bosnia set fire to local government buildings and clashed with police. Hundreds have been injured in three days of protests in a state that's slipping into serious economic stagnation with around 40 per cent of the population out of work.

The capital Sarajevo, rioters set the Presidential building ablaze, along with police cars and tires. Authorities fired rubber bullets, water cannon and tear gas to disperse the crowds. In other parts of the country protesters hurled rocks at security forces and torched local government buildings.

Video: Protesters clash with police, set govt buildings ablaze in Bosnia

Bosnia braces for more unrest after protests

Bosnia braced for fresh protests amid warnings the country could face a "tsunami" of popular anger over its dire economy after days of riots left several hundred people injured.Activist and protester Damir Arsenijevic speaks live from Tuzla, Bosnia.

Bosnia braces for more unrest after protests

UK government cuts creating Victorian social model

We used to think that the workforce in London had come a long way from the dockworkers of the early 20th Century, who stood outside the dock gates daily, competing for casual work. But the modern white collar “consultant” often has no more security than the dockworker of old and equally fears for their future.

Brazilian flash mob forces closure of luxury shopping center

Protests by Brazil’s poor against the rich have taken a new turn. Local black youths are taking to shopping malls usually visited by the wealthy, cooking barbecues and dancing. The seemingly innocent rallies are drawing the government’s attention.

Hard times? Spain's elite richer than ever

The 20 richest people in Spain earn as much as the poorest 20 percent, while the country's wealthy elites have actually grown richer during the economic crisis, a major new global report into wealth inequality argues.

World's 85 richest people have as much as half the rest of us, Davos told

The 85 richest people on the planet have accumulated as much wealth between them as half of the world’s population, political and financial leaders have been warned ahead of their annual gathering in the Swiss resort of Davos.

Bedroom Tax: Thousands to get money back after being wrongly charged

Thousands of social housing tenants hit by the hated Bedroom Tax are in line to get their money back after they were wrongly charged, it has emerged.

Up to 40,000 renters who have lived in the same home for more than 17 years could get their cash back, after a mistake by the Department of Work and Pensions.

Gap between US rich and poor growing

The gap between the rich and the poor in the US is growing, with over 40,000,000 Americans, including 16,000,000 children, struggling to obtain basic necessities. Five decades ago the issue of poverty was a serious challenge for the US, and the then President Lyndon Johnson launched what he called a "war on poverty". By 1973 the US poverty rate was down to 11 percent. But today it has climbed up to 15 percent. Over the past decade, the incomes of the richest Americans have grown by 86 percent, while the incomes of everyone else have grown at just a little over six percent.

Gap between US rich and poor growing

Storming the Food Banks: German Charities Struggle with Growing Demand

Food banks and soup kitchens in many German cities are having trouble keeping up with growing demand. Some are now abandoning their free food models in their efforts to continue helping the needy.

Low-paid workers and their families savaged most by Government cuts says report

Working families and the low paid are being savaged by £15.9billion Government cuts, a new report claims.

UK to cut £180m-a-year hardship fund for low-income families

As part of the UK’s latest Welfare Reform Act, low-income families hit with unexpected financial difficulties will lose the government’s £180m-a-year hardship fund.

UK household finances at breaking point

Rising bills and high housing costs are pushing many household budgets "to breaking point", with one in 11 people worried they will not be able to afford their rent or mortgage this month, according to research from Shelter.

Anti-EU nationalist parties surge amid economic hardship fears

Nothing seems to be able to stop Europe's lurch to the political right. With only tentative signs of economic growth and precious little good news for deeply indebted countries like Greece and France, it's a movement that seems difficult to reverse.

Right March: Anti-EU nationalist parties surge amid economic hardship fears

Survival Struggle: Fast food workers earn billions for employers but can't feed themselves

They make billions for their employers - but have nothing to feed their families with. US fast food workers face poverty as bosses refuse to increase their basic salary. This despite Barack Obama's promise to raise the minimum wage.

Survival Struggle: Fast food workers earn blns for employers but can't feed themselves

Thousands of Cambodians rally to demand PM steps down

Tens of thousands of Cambodian opposition supporters, backed by striking garment-factory workers, rallied on Sunday to demand long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen step down and call an election.

Penny for Rich: New tax rate saves UK millionaires £100m

The British government is bending over backwards to slash taxes and raise living standards for its people. The result - rich individuals and big businesses are stuffing their pockets with more cash, while the public pays the price. But despite criticism from MPs, the tax authorities aren't willing to change the status quo. 

Penny for Rich: New tax rate saves UK millionaires 100mn pounds

No Job Land

No Job Land is a seven-minute video that documents the effects of the economic crisis on three families in Madrid and depicts the desperate and desolate nature of life in Spain.

No Job Land

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