The Slovenia Times

Is poverty in Slovenia really disappearing?



The statistics indicate that the value of the gross domestic product (GDP) has increased by about 4.6 per cent compared to last year's figure. This economic growth has apparently been twice as high as it has been in other EU member states. According to economic analysts, this year's economic growth is expected to be around 3.6 per cent. Using these figures the poverty level should be continually falling. But experts have warned against being too optimistic. The fact is that the revenue ceiling used to determine poverty in Slovenia is set much lower than the developed European states due to their higher standard of living. Therefore, despite the level of poverty in Slovenia being comparable to that of the Netherlands, the poor of Slovenia face far more miserable living conditions than those faced by their fellow sufferers in Holland. According to latest EUROSTAT data, the level of 'poverty risk' in Slovenia fell to about 12 per cent compared to 21 per cent in Ireland, which has one of the highest levels of poverty risk in Europe. It has been continually falling since 1998. While the level of poverty risk does not represent the number of poor people, it does show how many could become poor if they lost their jobs or fell ill. The group at greatest risk is single parent families. However, when portraying the true condition objectively, all viewpoints need to be taken into account. When researching poverty levels, a distinguishing factor should be the way people perceive it psychologically. Astonishingly, research in Slovenia revealed that only 6 per cent of people actually feel socially excluded because of being poor. Some say this is due to the widespread prejudice towards poverty in Slovenia being strongly connected to a deeply-rooted belief that poverty is a result of laziness and dodging work. Unfortunately in the majority of situations this is not the case, but people still feel ashamed of being unemployed and prefer to conceal their circumstance as long as they can just to avoid being branded as poor.


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