A disaster for the residents of the European Union was the collapse of the world familiar to them, the destruction seemed natural social partnership between the state and society, society and capital.
The scale of the social standards in Europe are really impressive …
27% of European children younger than 18 years are at risk of poverty and social exclusion. Thus in Ireland, the figure is 38%, Hungary — 40%, in Latvia — 44%, while in Bulgaria — 56%. (1) UNICEF brings even more terrifying figure: 72.6% of Romanian children living in poverty. (2) According to Eurostat figures for 2011, 120 million people, or 24.2% of the population of the EU threatens poverty and loss of social security. In 2010, this figure covered 23.4% of the population. (3)
In the poverty line live about 670 thousand inhabitants of Lithuania, 10% of them — running. 22% of them — "in absolute poverty." According to a survey conducted in 2010 by Baltijos tyrimai, 10% of Lithuanians starving. Worse evaluate the financial position of the family residing in the district centers or small towns. More than half of the families living there is not enough money for food and clothing. (4)
Over the past year the UK has doubled the number of recipients of free food. New soup kitchen opens every three days. The number of Britons living below the poverty line, is about to be over 13 million British Many women are forced to eat through the day as a family all eat children. (5)
The volume of food aid sent to Estonia in 2012 by the EU, was a record: 2,571 tons of dry foods (pasta, cereals, flour, sugar, etc.) and 590.8 thousand liters of rapeseed oil for a total of 2.2 million euros. Help will be distributed to 129.5 thousand people in the country's population 1.29 million. (6)
Associated with the Catholic Church largest charitable organization "Caritas" concludes that poverty in Spain "has stabilized and become chronic." In 2007, free lunches and food rations "Caritas" is regularly used by 400 million people., In 2010 the number increased to 950 thousand (7) Moreover, if the previously regarded, mainly immigrant families are now poverty came to the home of indigenous Spaniards working age.
Currently in Europe, more than 80 million homeless people in a population of 501.1 million people. That is about 16% of EU citizens do not have a roof over their head. "Since the outbreak of the crisis — says a Belgian emergency medical services, and maybe even a little earlier, the situation of homeless people has deteriorated. We find a lot of people on the streets who have come here from France, Spain, the Netherlands. " (8)
Deteriorating health system. For example, hospitals in the UK for 4 years died of starvation 1,165 persons. Daily Mail notes that in 2011 alone, 43 patients died of malnutrition, 291 died in a state of extreme exhaustion, and the number of patients discharged from hospital in a state of exhaustion patients doubled to 5558. (9)
For the avalanche of numbers and economic indicators are easy to overlook the fate of individuals. But for each unit of the millions — the tragedy of man.
Estonian mother: "I myself work, and get a minimum. The apartment is very expensive, barely survived the winter and winter again soon. Today, my children said to economize and did not eat a lot of bread because it has nothing to eat and have a couple of days still stretch …. I am ashamed, I live in a European country, but not in Africa. I am ashamed that I work and I can not buy underwear for children, only two pairs of them, and that is with holes. I'm afraid I have school starts soon. We'll have to go to the social department and reach out for help, maybe help. I am already 41 years old, and have never lived so I do not how we live now, one day, and tomorrow as anyhow … "(10)
The same charity "Caritas" cites numerous examples of hopeless poverty. "A woman 56 years old and lives with his two children and two grandchildren, seven and three years. Kids are out of work and the right to benefit. She herself can count on the assistance of 426 euros (validity expires at the end of November). The rent is 276 euros.
An elderly woman (74 years), receives a pension of 340 euros, lives with her sick son 50 years.
Woman, divorced, with four children aged 16, 11, and 4 and 3 years old, works as a cleaner at a salary of 434 euros, of which 410 euros is spent on housing. "
Under the threat of job losses and social status is growing rapidly in Europe, the incidence of depression and suicide. Since the beginning of the economic crisis, growth in the number of suicides ranged from 5% to 17%. In Britain, the number of people who took his own life, has grown by 10% — to 6.75 suicides per 100 thousand inhabitants in Greece — 40%. In 2011, the BBC BBC conducted a survey of medical institutions and found that, during the financial crisis, the doctor prescribed 40% more prescriptions for antidepressants than in previous years. (11)
In desperation, people are on the brink of madness. Thus, the 44-year-old resident of Spain is willing to sell one of the kidneys, the liver, cornea, and one easy to raise money to pay for the apartment. The main thing, in her opinion — the future of his daughter, his own life is lost to it any value. The municipality of Valencia went to meet her and agreed to reduce the rent of up to 400 euros, but it is not able to pay that kind of money and because its benefit is only 426 euros a month. To top it all she is also disabled, so that the selection of works for her is very limited. Her 22-year-old daughter, a student receives a very small pension for his father, who died two years ago. (12)
In March 2013, a few days ago, 36-year-old died Plamen Goranov, who committed an act of February 20 self-immolation in front of the city hall of the city of Varna in protest against the increase in utility prices. It is the third case of self-immolation after the start of protests in Bulgaria. (13)
Deputy Director of the British Centre for Mental Health Andy Bell believes that mental health is not only the unemployed but also those who have not lost their place, but living in fear, fear of layoffs, has become a major social and medical problem.
Government response to the public
Instead of social protection, a more equitable redistribution of income and save the most vulnerable people, EU governments and the European leadership structures have strict neo-liberal policies. The EU budget for 2013 reduced by 2.2% and a deficit of 50 billion euros. Fiscal policy of the EU is that social problems will only get worse.
At the end of September 2012 the Spanish government presented a draft budget law for 2013 and formulated a strategy of Spanish economic policy. Sequestration is provided at the rate of 8.9% — despite the fact that in the 2012 budget of the Ministry of Economy has already been reduced by 19%, education — 21.2%, finance — by 22.9%, of — 34.6% , Foreign Affairs and Cooperation — by 54.4%. In 2013, more than anyone else lose the Ministry of Health — 22.6%. Completely abolished benefits for child birth. And unemployment in Spain has exceeded 24% (among the youth — 50%). (14)
Under pressure from the EU, the Greek Government has conducted a number of seizures of the budget and tax increase. In particular, a 3-year frozen salaries of public sector employees, a 10% cut benefits to state employees, 30% — paid at Easter and Christmas 13th and 14th salaries, provides for a gradual increase in the retirement age to 63-67 years, 2 % increased rate of VAT and excise duties on alcohol and tobacco products. Thus from 2009, unemployment rose by 3 times (among youth, it is 57%) (15), 22.9% of Greeks live below the poverty line, the real income of households fell by 17%, but taxes on employees, self-employed, for small and medium-sized businesses in 2013 should rise by 42%. (16)
Is not the first place to reduce the UK budget. In 2010, expenditure on social services have been cut by 17 billion pounds. Due to budget cuts for 2012, 750 thousand families no longer receive child benefit as a result of freeze and cuts in tax benefits by age livelihoods of 4.4 million British pensioners. (17)
Simultaneously, from October 2008 to December 2011 help EU member states to banks amounted to 1.6 trillion euros. It reaches 13% of GDP in the EU. Most of these funds (67%) was provided in the form of government guarantees of bank financing. The number of millionaires in the EU is growing. For example, in Germany in 2011 the number of people whose wealth exceeds one million dollars, an increase of 8%. The number of billionaires in Germany in 2010 was 103 people. A year earlier, in Germany there were 99 billionaires. (18)
Very eloquent touch: when Britain reduced the budget by cutting social programs, the funding of the royal house remained the same.
Some believe that Germany and Britain — the highly developed countries, where growing prosperity of the entire population. This is not so. Germany's financial plan assumes savings of 80 billion euros by 2014. Is expected to reduce the number of professional soldiers in the 40 th, to consider the possibility of gradually get rid of conscription has 60,000 graduates recruits. Savings will also affect the civil servants: after the reform will be canceled Christmas bonus for them — this will save the state budget to 2.5% of payroll. By 2014, the German government plans to cut 10,000 jobs in the public sector. (19) 12.8 million, or 15.8% of the adult population in Germany, facing poverty. In Germany, child poverty is rampant than in many other industrialized countries. According to UNICEF, the persistence of poverty 8.8% of German children. This figure is not much better in other 'flagship' EU: Britain — 5.5%, France — 10.1%. The situation is worse only in crisis countries and Eastern European states.
Crisis as a development resource
Today we are witnessing the destruction of the European project of social partnership, which, unlike the American economic model of hard capitalism was extremely attractive. New start economic development European Union, apparently, is not possible without a thorough analysis of the causes of the crisis, soul-searching, rethinking the ideological foundations of the existence of Europe and the search for new models of interaction with the rest of the world.
The root cause of the impasse into which hit the European Union, is the involvement of Europe in the "Greater West" as a U.S. satellite. This eventually led to the now arisen and the EU economic problems. It's not just about the neo-liberal dogma, capacity and debt between the financial sphere and the real economy. Taking part in the adventures of the U.S. in the Middle East, CIS, South-East and Central Asia, Europe destabilized the situation near its borders, and in fact their own hands to create the threat of energy security, economic and demographic development. Of course, redefining relations with its neighbors will be a real ideological brittle to European elites, but do it anyway necessary.
Sick of the European economy requires not only an increase in financial and fiscal discipline, but also a radical restructuring of economic policy to improve access to resources, the liberalization of trade, technology exchange, re-industrialization, enhance industrial cooperation with developed countries of the Eurasian continent. Creation of a single economic space cooperation "from Lisbon to the Kuril Islands" by reducing competition, elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers, the creation of new transport corridors can ensure the growth of the European economy, and ultimately recreate the European model of the welfare state to its citizens.
European values — is social justice, support the weak and vulnerable, solidarity and guarantee the fundamental right to life, the high level of culture and education, and does not "promote democracy" in Syria and Libya, juvenile justice, and gay pride parades. And these values deserve to be preserved.
(14) PP Yakovlev, PhD, director of the Center of Iberian Studies, Institute of Latin America (ILA), Russian Academy of Sciences "The European crisis is a mirror of Spain."