The financial crisis always prefers the south of Eurozone

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, received a delegation from the Greek government led by Antonis Samaras, Greek Prime Minister. During the joint press conference José Manuel Barroso welcomed the next Greek Presidency of the Council of the EU, starting on 01/01/2014 (EC Audiovisual Seervices, 04/12/2013).

José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, received a delegation from the Greek government led by Antonis Samaras, Greek Prime Minister. During the joint press conference José Manuel Barroso welcomed the next Greek Presidency of the Council of the EU, starting on 01/01/2014 (EC Audiovisual Seervices, 04/12/2013).

It’s very interesting to study how incomes and consumption in the worst hit countries coped with the financial crisis and the concomitant severe austerity measures imposed by the ‘troika’ of auditors/lenders. The European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund formed this ‘troika’ in 2010, to deal with the risk of insolvency in four EU member states namely Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus. Understandably, those countries must have paid the dearest price in terms of incomes and consumption losses. The northern EU member states were actually spared by the crisis.

To study all that, Eurostat, the EU’s statistical service, published today a survey depicting the evolution of GDP per capita in purchasing power standards for the three critical years 2010, 2011 and 2012. The study covers all the 28 EU countries plus nine more European countries.

The same survey also follows the evolution of the Actual Individual Consumption (AIC) per capita. According to Eurostat, “While GDP per capita is mainly an indicator reflecting the level of economic activity AIC per capita is an alternative indicator, better adapted to describe the material welfare situation of households”. Eurostat also notes that “In 2012, AIC per capita expressed in PPS ranged between nearly 40% above the EU28 average in Luxembourg and around 50% below in Bulgaria and Romania”.

The rich paid no price

The above statement depicts the material standing of the wealthiest and the poorest average household within the EU in the year 2012. It is of much more interest though to follow how the various countries fared in the critical period of 2010-2012. Given that the evolution of the AIC per capita is a better indicator of the actual material situation of households, let’s stick to that. Starting from the better off, during this three year period Austria, Germany, Sweden, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Latvia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania managed to improve their positions. Of course, only the first three countries marked an increase, starting from a high point. The rest just increased slightly their very low marks.

In all the rest 18 EU member states AIC per capita expressed – as a percentage of the EU28 average – either stagnated or fell. It’s interesting to note that the ‘programme’ countries, those under the troika’s supervision, suffered the largest losses. In Ireland, the average household lost only 4% of its material standing in this three year period, from 102% to 98%. The worst case was Greece.

Another Greek negative lead

In this last member states the average household lost 13.3% of its per capita consumption expressed in purchasing power standards. In detail AIC per capita in Greece fell from 98% of the EU28 average in 2010 to 85% in 2012. Of course more losses must have been recorded during this year. The second largest losses were recorded in Portugal. Households there lost 8.5% of their consumption, from 84% to 77%. Spain lost much less, from 94% in 2010 to 92% in 2012. The same is true for Cyprus (to 97% from 100%).

In general, the levels of AIC per capita appear more homogeneous than measurements of GDP. Still, the differences are large between member states. As noted above, in 2012, AIC per capita expressed in purchasing power standards varied between nearly 40% above the EU28 average in Luxembourg and around 50% below it in Bulgaria and Romania. As for the ‘programme’ countries, Greece and Portugal paid the highest price.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

State of the Union: Commission sets out new ambitious mission to lead on supercomputing

DR Congo: ‘No time to lose’ says newly appointed UN Ebola response coordinator

On World Day to Combat Desertification, UN shines spotlight on ‘true value’ of land

What’s a logarithmic graph and how does it help explain the spread of COVID-19?

How solar is powering the Middle East towards renewables

The ECB will do whatever it takes to set the Eurozone economy again in motion

EU-Ukraine Summit: moving forward together in solidarity

Dare to be vulnerable, and three other lessons in leadership

Africa-Europe Alliance: Denmark provides €10 million for sustainable development under the EU External Investment Plan

Protests, violence in Haiti prompts international call for ‘realistic and lasting solutions’ to crisis

Why CEOs need to become activists in sustainability

Pharmaceuticals conceal drug side effects with the EU’s Court blessing

Global Cooperation for Local Action: Fighting antimicrobial resistance

Nicaragua: MEPs condemn brutal repression and demand elections

The Parliament accuses core EU countries of exploiting their dominant political position

Fossil fuel support is rising again in a threat to climate change efforts

Four in 10 indigenous languages at risk of disappearing, warn UN human rights experts

Could this electric ferry’s success herald an era of greener shipping?

Can India reduce deaths on one hazardous road to zero? This group is trying

Europe bewildered by radicalisation and terrorism

Towards the new era of medicine

Iraq: Solutions needed ‘urgently’ to quell ongoing violence, break political deadlock

Earth has more trees than it did 35 years ago – but there’s a huge catch

‘Score a goal’ for humanity, says Mohammed, celebrating winning link between sport and development

Remote working and online shopping could drive 14 million cars off US roads – permanently

Agreement reached on screening of foreign direct investment for EU security

In this ‘wildland’ farm in Britain, species thrive and yields are high

What’s the difference between carbon negative and carbon neutral?

Progress made in UN talks to end Yemen war, Envoy lauds ‘positive and serious spirit’

Currency Union might not let an independent Scotland join the EU as the “Yes” front now leads

Global trade is broken. Here are five ways to rebuild it

More women and girls needed in the sciences to solve world’s biggest challenges

How to build an entrepreneurial university

Zero carbon by 2050 is possible. Here is what we need to do

The true EU unemployment rate may have soared to 21.9%

UN committed to helping Haiti build better future, says Guterres, marking 10-year anniversary of devastating earthquake

Western Balkans: MEPs take stock of 2018 progress

Commission welcomes Bulgaria and Croatia’s entry into the Exchange Rate Mechanism II

A Sting Exclusive, the European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger writes for the Sting on “EU Industry: a major energizer”

Human rights defenders, too often left defenceless themselves – UN expert

UN says ‘many humanitarian achievements’, one year after ouster of ISIL from Mosul

UN recorded 64 new allegations of sexual exploitation or abuse in the past three months

Arrest of three Libyans wanted for grave crimes ‘would send strong and necessary message’ to victims, urges top Prosecutor

How speaking ‘parentese’ to your child could make them a faster learner

The banks dragged Eurozone down to fiscal abyss

EU and China resolve amicably solar panel trade dispute

MWC 2016 LIVE: Xiaomi looks to revive growth with flagships

Traditional finance is failing millennials. Here’s how investing needs to change

Rule of law in Hungary: Parliament should ask Council to act, say committee MEPs

Ethical education as an obligatory course in medical curriculum

Journey of my life

‘Antagonistic gestures and accusations’ drown out Kosovo dialogue hopes, Security Council hears

Migration: First unaccompanied children relocated from Greece to Luxembourg

This city in India swaps plastic for free meals

Guatemala Dos Erres massacre conviction welcomed by UN human rights office

The European Sting Cookie Policy

This wristband tells you what food to buy based on your DNA

Our indispensable problem: the paradox of modern plastics

More Stings?



  1. jonh astrapos says:

    The financial crisis never prefers the South of Eurozone, but all of you prefer the South
    Eurozone to have financial crisis!

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s