EU austerity policies could put between 15 and 25 million more Europeans at risk of poverty by 2025, warned the international aid agency Oxfam here Thursday in a report.
This would bring the number of people at risk of poverty in Europe up to 146 million, over a quarter of the population, it noted.
Natalia Alonso, Head of Oxfam's EU Office in Brussels in a press statement said: "Europe's handling of the economic crisis threatens to roll-back decades of social rights. Aggressive cuts to social security, health and education, fewer rights for workers and unfair taxation are trapping millions of Europeans in a circle of poverty that could last for generations. It is moral and economic nonsense." The warning came ahead of EU Finance Ministers meeting in Vilnius tomorrow. Lithuania holds the current EU Presidency.
Oxfam called on European governments to champion a new economic and social model that invests in people, strengthens democracy and pursues fair taxation.