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.