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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Basque class division in figures

According to Iñaki Gil de San Vicente, 1.30% of Southern Basques have 44.4% of the country's GDP (not counting real state). In raw numbers that means that 36,000 Basques have almost half of the wealth created collectively by some 2,776,000 people.

Meanwhile there is an official figure of 12.7% unemployment (surely much higher in fact because this figure only includes those in the official unemployment office, which is almost useless to find job) and 40% of people (1,110,000 Basques) has incomes under 1069 euros per month, which is considered officially the poverty line (life is quite expensive here, specially housing), many of them on what is called the "social salary" which is a subsidy of 650 euros per family (only slightly higher if you have children), less than what costs the usual rent of a cheap apartment (700 euros or higher per month).

The GDP per capita in the Western Basque Country (Navarre must be close if not higher but I lack the exact data) was 31,110 euros (2008), making a rough total of 86.4 billion euros (or some 120 billion USD in 2009) for the whole southern Basque Country. What means (a bit roughly) that the 40% of Basques under the poverty line are getting less than 41% of their theoretical share of the GDP.

Meanwhile, that tiny elite of 36,000 rich Basques own collectively some 38.4 billion euros, more than one million euros each (average).

So while the bulk of the citizenry is getting through life with less than 13,000 euros per year, a tiny oligarchy enjoys one million each. A hundred or more times what the common poor Basque has.

I know that elsewhere it can be much worse (for example here it is mentioned that a Chilean worker can earn as little as $182 per month, with the official minimal salary being of $312, $250 after taxes, less than the effective cost of housing) but I wanted to calculate and write down these figures, just for the record.

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