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Fifth of Greeks have income below poverty line

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Just over a fifth of Greek employees and pensioners declared an annual income that put them below the poverty line in 2012, newspaper Ethnos reported Tuesday, illustrating the impact a drawn-out recession is having on the bailed-out nation.

Citing figures from the ministry of finance, the newspaper said 1.1 million out of 4.8 million workers and pensioners declared an annual income of less than 6,000 euros ($7,900).

This officially puts them below the poverty line -- which stood at 7,178 euros for a one-person household.

Overall, the average annual revenues declared by 4.8 million workers and pensioners reached 14,640 euros for 2012, down 17.8 percent from 17,812 euros in 2011.

At the same time average taxes rose by 52 percent, from 1,091 to 1,654 euros.

The situation was little better for freelancers, who make up a large proportion of the labour market.

They declared a 38.48-percent decline in earnings to an average of 19,880 euros. However, unlike employees and pensioners, their tax burden fell by 17.7 percent, from 4,378 to 3,603 euros.

Now in its sixth straight year of recession, Greece has been forced to slash jobs, pay and pensions in order to secure 240 billion euros in rescue funds from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

The tough reform measures have sparked mass protests and general strikes in the country, where unemployment is at a record 27 percent.

Greece does not expect to post growth before 2014.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130723/fifth-greeks-have-income-below-poverty-line