Stop Poverty Now Campaign starts

From The Times of Malta – Friday, 22nd January 2010

Stop Poverty Now campaign starts
Ivan Camilleri, Brussels

Malta will be joining the rest of the EU in marking the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion, which was officially launched in Madrid yesterday.

The island will be holding a number of events throughout the year including competitions for journalists and artists, a national awareness campaign, the publication of a book on experiences of poor Maltese people and activities commemorating international days related to the theme.

Malta prepared a programme of events and the EU decided to contribute 50 per cent of the costs, a spokesman for the Commission said.

Eurostat statistics published earlier this week showed that 15 per cent of Malta’s population is considered to be on the poverty line, living in households which do not earn more than €7,800 annually. The problem in the EU is even more severe, as the average of those at-risk-of-poverty reached 17 per cent in 2008.

With the slogan Stop Poverty Now!, the campaign aims to put the fight against poverty – which directly affects one in six Europeans – centre stage across the EU during 2010.

“Combating poverty and social exclusion is an integral part of getting out of the crisis. It is too often the vulnerable in society who end up being hardest hit by the impacts of a recession,” Commission president José Manuel Barroso said at the launch.

“That is why the European Year 2010 should act as a catalyst to raise awareness and build momentum for a more inclusive society which is part and parcel of the EU’s future 2020 strategy that I have proposed.”

Almost 80 million Europeans currently live below the poverty threshold.

According to a recent Eurobarometer survey on attitudes to poverty, the vast majority of Europeans (73 per cent) consider poverty to be a widespread problem in their country, with 89 per cent calling for urgent action by their government to tackle the problem. Most also expect the EU to play an important role.

The 2010 European Year aims to raise greater awareness of the causes and consequences of poverty in Europe, both among key players such as governments and social partners, and among the public at large.


~ by medipmalta on January 22, 2010.

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