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The European Crisis and its Human Cost

The European Crisis and its Human Cost

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Published by Eric Prenen
A call for fair alternatives and solutions.
A call for fair alternatives and solutions.

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Published by: Eric Prenen on Mar 31, 2014
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05/01/2014

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THE EUROPEAN CRISIS
AND
ITS HUMAN COST
A CALL FOR FAIR ALTERNATIVES AND SOLUTIONS
A STUDY OF THE IMPACT OF THE CRISIS AND AUSTERITY ON PEOPLE, WITH A SPECIAL FOCUS ONCYPRUS, GREECE, IRELAND, ITALY, PORTUGAL, ROMANIA AND SPAIN
CRISIS MONITORING REPORT 2014
 
A Caritas Report prepared by Social Justice Ireland
Ann Leahy, Seán Healy, and Michelle Murphy
This publication is supported financially by the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity -
PROGRESS
. This programme is implemented bythe European Commission. It was established to financially support the implementation of the objectives of the European Union in the employment, social affairs andequal opportunities area, and thereby contribute to the achievement of the Europe 2020 Strategy goals in these fields. For more information see:
http://ec.europa.eu/progress
 
Preface
This Crisis Monitoring Report is an in-depth analysis on how the crisis is addressed in selectedcountries and whether political and economic decisions may reduce –or increase the impacton large impoverishing segments of the population.The aim of this report is not only to analyse the crisis but also help policy and decision-makersat local, regional, national and European levels, as well as non-governmental organisations andthe church to find their ways of commitment to overcome the crisis. The first issue of ourCrisis Monitoring Report (2013) was warmly welcomed by politicians; one Member of theEuropean Parliament said that “The Caritas study will be invaluable for politicians, like myself,who care about the impact of austerity on the most vulnerable; for those of us who wish tostand up for ordinary people during debates and discussions on solutions to the debt crisis. Weneed to be able to challenge the proponents of cuts, to argue for tax justice, and for betterand more caring policies.”The voices of children and families experiencing poverty are at the heart of Caritas Europa. Inone of our previous publications from 2013 we have called on to “Listen to the voices of Children in Poverty!” The 11 years old Constantine from Cyprus said that „My parents cannotafford my school snack so the school has to provide for me.” The 9 years old Bruno fromPortugal shared that „My mother is unemployed because the company said that they had noother place for her work. She was sad and I know she cries about it.” The current Report is notonly the message of Caritas Europa, but also the message of those people who are facing crisisday by day. This Report is also a message of our member organisations that made valuablecontributions to this publication.Caritas Europa is convinced that any kind of policy and legal measures aiming to address theimpacts of the crisis shall be rooted in the promotion and protection of human dignity,advancement of the common good and the support of solidarity between all groups in society.Pope Francis tells us that “the need to resolve the structural causes of poverty cannot bedelayed, not only for the pragmatic reason of its urgency for the good order of society, butbecause society needs to be cured of a sickness which is weakening and frustrating it, andwhich can only lead to new crises.” (Evangelii Gaudium 202) I believe that this report is auseful tool to promote recovery in Europe and to avoid new crises.My special thanks shall go to Séan Healy, director of Social Justice Ireland, and our team of Caritas experts who tirelessly worked on this publication and without whom it would not havebeen possible to deliver our new Crisis Monitoring Report.
Jorge Nuño-Mayer 
Secretary General

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