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Crisis exacerbates inequality in Spain: Oxfam report

Updated: 2014-01-20 21:56
( Xinhua)

MADRID - The value of the 20 biggest fortunes in Spain is equal to the total wealth of the poorest 20 percent of the country.

That is one of the conclusions in a report drawn up by the charity Oxfam to coincide with the start of the Davos World Economic Forum.

Spain has been hit badly by the ongoing economic crisis, but the report shows that it has not affected the richest 20 people in the country whose fortunes are worth approximately 77 billion euros (104 billion US dollars).

"The case of Spain is especially worrying," says the report, highlighting that the policy of fiscal control and cutbacks in spending "have especially hit the middle classes and the least favored people in society."

The richest 20 percent of Spaniards earned 5.3 times more than the poorest 20 percent before the crisis. But by 2011, as the crisis bit deeply in Spain, they were earning 7.5 times more than the poorest 20 percent, according to the report.

Only Latvia has more inequality in Europe than Spain, the report found.

"The economic effort to face up to the crisis has not fallen on those with more resources. Those responsible for the debacle in the banking sector have remained immune, and the lack of clear and firm action against a level of corruption ... has led to unsupportable tension in the society," the report said.

The document added that "public interest and democratic process has been hijacked in the interests of a minority."

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