“Save the Children” has issued a warning saying that a third of all Spanish children, or about 2.7 million children, are at risk of “social exclusion” by being in borderline or actual poverty conditions.
The charity says the crisis that forced Spain down the lists, and only Romania has a higher level of child poverty in the EU.
The charity has dragged Minister for the Economy Cristóbel Montero into a row, as the report was issued a day after Montero attacked a recent Caritas report which said much the same, accusing Caritas of a lack of rigor and scaremongering. This independent report from the UK charity has left the Minister with some serious egg on his face.
Across the EU, only Greece has less social aid dedicated to helping poor children.
Save The Children compared Spain to Eire, both countries which went bankrupt during the recent recession. Despite the recession, Eire not only kept social programmes going but have managed to reduce the percentage of children in poverty over the last decade.
Ester Asin Martínez of Save the Children warned Minister Montero that “charities are not inventing these figures [..] but are reflecting reality”.
The report also draws attention to the vast numbers of young Spanish adults who abandoned schooling early during the boom years who are now badly educated, jobless, with few prospects and who are now starting to have their own children.
“The problem is real, it is here, and it is only going to get worse and worse unless urgent social programmes are launched by the state” warns the charity. “An entire generation of Spaniards are about to be lost forever”.