Austerity will put 25m Europeans into poverty, says Oxfam

A volunteer loads a van with donations of food at the Food Bank Against Hunger centre in Lisbon. Photo: AFP

Europe faces a "lost decade", with the number of people trapped in poverty across the continent set to rise by up to 25 million by 2025 unless austerity policies are reversed, according to a damning new report from aid agency Oxfam.

Friday, 13 September, 2013, 3:58am

Greek PM faces week of protests over new austerity bill

Striking municipal police officers protest austerity cuts that will affect thousands of public sector workers in Athens on Saturday. The government has committed to major job cuts in return for EU-IMF aid. Photo: AP

Greece’s prime minister faces protests this week over a bill that must pass for the country to receive a fresh tranche of EU-IMF aid.

“Stress test in the parliament and on the streets” said the front page To Vima weekly on Sunday, while left-leaning Eleftherotypia discussed a “political heatwave.”

15 Jul 2013 - 1:34pm

More spending cuts for Britain, but austerity pill is sugared

More spending cuts for Britain, but austerity pill is sugared

British finance minister George Osborne has unveiled spending cuts to try to tame the country’s big public deficit, but promised to reinvest some of the money saved to counter criticism of excessive austerity.

27 Jun 2013 - 10:53am

Bon Jovi to play free for fans living on a prayer

US singer Jon Bon Jovi. Photo: AP

US rock supergroup Bon Jovi will waive their fee for playing a concert in recession-hit Spain next month, reports said yesterday, with special low-price tickets for Spaniards struggling in the crisis.

31 May 2013 - 4:33am

EU eases pace of austerity to support ailing economies

EUn President Jose Manuel Barroso speaks in Brussels. Photo: EPA

The European Union softened its demands for austerity on Wednesday when it gave France, Spain and four other member states more time to bring their deficit levels under control so that they can support their ailing economies. The EU Commission, the 27-nation bloc’s executive arm, said the countries must instead overhaul their labour markets and implement fundamental reforms to make their economies more competitive.

30 May 2013 - 2:19am

Foreign aid for development projects is cut as African economies grow

Commentators on Britain's recent announcement of the end of direct aid to South Africa noted wryly that the aid cut roughly corresponded to the US$22 million President Jacob Zuma spent on 'security' upgrades for his home. Photo: Xinhua

Last year Western aid to sub-Saharan Africa quite literally decimated. Rich countries making up the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED) reduced assistance to the region by 10 per cent, the largest drop in 16 years.

27 May 2013 - 5:59am

Crisis-hit Greece sees rise in social inequality

A charity doles out food in an Athens square. Social inequality is on the rise in Greece after years of austerity. Photo: AFP

After six consecutive years of brutal recession, with homeless and unemployment rates skyrocketing, Greek society is experiencing an “unheard-of fragmentation”, made worse by fierce austerity measures, experts say.

6 May 2013 - 1:45pm 1 comment

Austere trial and error

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde has stressed the importance of growth and of job creation, especially for the young. Photo: EPA

Was it - or more to the point, is it, since it is still going on - the economic recession triggered by an Excel spreadsheet error? Not only the arcane world of academic economists, but finance ministries around the world have been shaken by the discovery that the enormously influential economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff made some stupid errors in their research, which has been the basis of many countries' austerity programmes.

24 Apr 2013 - 5:16am

Austerity frenzy proven to be wrong. So will it be halted?

Pensioners march in an anti-austerity rally in Athens, Greece. Photo: Reuters

In this age of information, maths errors can lead to disaster. Nasa's Mars Orbiter crashed because engineers forgot to convert to metric measurements; JPMorgan Chase's "London Whale" venture went bad in part because modellers divided by a sum instead of an average. So, did an Excel coding error destroy the Western world's economies?

21 Apr 2013 - 4:56am 3 comments

Manifesto of Spanish nun Sister Forcades taps anger at austerity

Sister Teresa Forcades is leading a campaign for 2016 elections

From her small convent in the mountains near Barcelona, Sister Teresa Forcades, a Harvard-educated Catalan nun, has emerged as a leading advocate of Spain's "indignant" protest movement against capitalism's excesses.

20 Apr 2013 - 3:29am

Murder, suicide, disease surges under Greek austerity

A homeless man sleeps outside the headquarters of the Bank of Greece in Athens

When Greece's economy took a plunge, murders and disease rates soared, according to a study that suggests the impact of the European nation's austerity cuts may be worse than expected. Suicide and murder rates climbed from 2007 to 2009, particularly among men, and unusual outbreaks of malaria, West Nile virus and HIV took clinicians by surprise, according to the findings published in the American Journal of Public Health on Thursday.

20 Apr 2013 - 3:27am

Cyprus' EU bailout deal to have immediate, lasting impact

Cypriot Finance Minister Michaelis Sarris feels the pressure following the Eurogroup meeting yesterday in Brussels. Photo: Bloomberg

Cypriots face years of economic hardship due to a harsh euro-zone bailout deal, analysts said yesterday, while the Mediterranean island's future in the currency remains deeply uncertain. The fallout will begin immediately, with food and medicine shortages likely in coming weeks as businesses struggle amid a lack of cash in Cypriot banks, which were hammered by the agreement, said economic experts.

26 Mar 2013 - 5:08am

Talking points

Cathay reveals extent of profit slump

Cathay Pacific Airways releases its annual results, with the figures expected to show profits plunging by almost 90 per cent to HK$570 million. Chief executive John Slosar warned in November that the airline had experienced a "difficult" year.

13 Mar 2013 - 3:00am

Falling for austerity hook, line and sinker

Officials have curtailed their ways while diners have not. Tasmanian oysters are favoured over locally sourced shellfish. Photo: AFP

New leader Xi Jinping's December clampdown on exuberant entertaining by the mainland's seven million government officials seems to have worked.

Shanghai's gourmet restaurants and posh hotels have seen business slump 20 per cent since officials were limited to four courses plus soup, with no more claret and expensive spirits.

11 Mar 2013 - 4:26am

The new spirit of austerity

Kweichow Moutai has suspended March deliveries. Photo: Xinhua

Kong Guoqing blames the vanished Kweichow Moutai sales on incoming president Xi Jinping's crackdown on extravagant spending by officials: Kweichow Moutai's sorghum spirit can fetch US$300 a bottle - about half the average monthly disposable income in the financial hub.

15 Apr 2013 - 2:00pm