Following the release of the report exposing high levels of poverty in Majorca and the Balearics, the Esquerra Unida (United Left) party has stated that poverty and marginalisation are entrenched in the Balearics. Despite economic growth, the party notes, more than a quarter of the population is at risk of social exclusion. It is calling, therefore, for a profound change to the islands' economic model.
"While we have record seasons and while the luxury tourism segment increases, there is a different reality, that of poverty and marginalisation." Juanjo Martínez, the coordinator of the Esquerra Unida, says that this situation affects a high percentage of the population who cannot enjoy the improvements to the economy.
The figure cited in the report of 26.4% of the population being at risk of poverty and social exclusion is similar to the 27.8% in 2013. This, the party says, is evidence of the entrenched nature of poverty in the Balearics.
The ten per cent of the population in extreme poverty demonstrates, adds Martínez, the social failure of the economic model. "It creates great inequality based on the reduction of wages and the brutal exploitation of workers who are not compensated for the work they do."
Labour reform, the party believes, has brought about the situation in which unemployment remains very high and benefits have been reduced. It is demanding increased benefits for the unemployed and a significant increase in the minimum wage as well as the combating of fraud and labour over-exploitation. "Policies are also needed for employment and economic diversification in order that there is not so much dependence on the tourism sector, one which doesn't create quality employment."
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