Risk of poverty in Canaries highest in Spain with almost 40% in danger of social exclusion

We have to hope that the experts and politicians are right when they say that Spain’s economy is leaving recession, that the Canaries will flourish next year, and that the bottom has well and truly been reached, leaving up the only way to go. We have to hope because things have never been worse here than over the last two years, with the Canaries second only to Extremadura in Spain’s table of risk of poverty and social exclusion. Some 33.2%, roughly the same percentage of unemployed, are “suffering poverty”, a number that has hardly changed since 2011 when it was 35%.

This is the story which emerges from the Encuesta de Condiciones de Vida de 2012, published yesterday by the Instituto de Estadística de Canarias (INE). There is also another indicator, however, and that seems to contradict those experts and politicans because the statistics show that the risk of poverty or social exclusion is rising. It is now 39,7%, the highest in all Spain. This is the index that will be used by the EU to calibrate its Europe 2020 strategy. I hope they calibrate well, because things are not looking good, and if that level of risk becomes reality, we will have virtually 40% poverty – in real terms – in these islands.



  1. Janet. Your point regarding the economy and Spain’s prosperity are extremely valid.

    OK, I admit up-front that I am not a ‘lover’ of the Euro – but only for one reason; a single currency will only work within a single financial and political union. In other words a United Nations of Europe (maybe a better use of words than a United States of Europe). However, it has become obvious that ‘leaders’ with the Eurozone have no desire to go down that route – for the foreseeable future.

    My point however is that in order for Spain to exit it’s current fiscal and social problems it must increase it’s competitiveness and it simply can’t do that when strapped to the Euro, and the much stronger economies (namely Germany), despite what ‘leaders’ say. To them it’s just a political project.

    A significant part of Spain’s GDP comes from tourism and places like Adeje rely on that income. Now it does not take a genius to work out that if Spain did not use the Euro, but some other coinage which attracted a more favourable exchange rate in the market, then that in itself would boost tourism rates and income.

    Unfortunately, there is fat chance of that happening so no, Spain’s financial and social recovery is not assured. Consequently, I fear that attempts to boost wealth with strategies, such as the one for La Caleta, will continue. Personally, I don’t see it working and the people of Spain will continue to suffer the consequences.

  2. I think that there are some signs of the recession easing but if more people going to Spain continue to look for all inclusive holidays this will do nothing to help the local economies.

    In Torremolinos there are now 15 hotels offering AI, even though the local Ayunamiento had previously blocked requests from hotels to go AI. It can only be a bad things for any area of Spain that depends so much on tourism. It would be sad if AI hotels increased in the Canary Islands and meant that people were not spending their money in the wider community and helping that community to prosper.

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