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Filthy Rich – Europe billionaires wealthier than ever

Europe’s fifty richest people have become 153 billion dollars wealthier over the past year, with a total net worth rising to 754 billion dollars.

That rise – about three billion dollars each on average – is equivalent to five billion dollars for each of the 28 EU member states or 300 dollars per person across the EU.

All but two of the top 50 fattest cats increased their wealth.

By country, Germany led the rankings, accounting for 14, followed by France and Sweden, each with nine , Italy and the UK each with three, and Spain and Austria each with two out of the fifty.

The European Central Bank’s policy of quantitative easing, by raising asset prices, has disproportionately benefited the wealthy, thereby contributing to rising inequality.

At the same time EU-inspired austerity policies have reduced income for the 99% directly – average EU wages have been falling in real terms since at least 2011 – and indirectly – through cuts to welfare and public services, which, together with your pay packet, make up what was once called the so-called the “social wage”.

In 2016, 117.5 million people, or 23.4% of the population, in the European Union (EU) were at risk of poverty or social exclusion, and 7.5% of the population were “severely materially deprived”, rising to over 20% of in some countries – Bulgaria (31.9%), Romania (23.8%) and Greece (22.4%).

European (global) billionaire’s ranking, with total net wealth and change in net wealth in the year to date

  1. (5) Amancio Ortega, $74.4B, Up $2.26B, Spain
  2. (7) Bernard Arnault, $60.5B, Up  $21.4B, France
  3. (14) Ingvar Kamprad, $46.8B, Up $2.85B, Sweden
  4. (16) Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, $7.27B, Up $43.4B France
  5. (31) Francois Pinault, $25.1B, Up $10.0B, France
  6. (33) Giovanni Ferrero, $23.0B, Up $2.74B, Italy
  7. (34) Dieter Schwarz, $22.8B, Up $1.98B, Germany
  8. (35) Georg Schaeffler, $22.4B, Up $4.52B, Germany
  9. (36)  Susanne Klatten, $22.4B, Up $2.76B, Germany
  10. (39) Stefan Persson, $21.6B, Down $1.46B, Sweden
  11. (40) Serge Dassault, $21.5B, Up $6.29B, France
  12. (41) Leonardo del Vecchio, $20.7B, Up $2.35B, Italy
  13. (45) Stefan Quandt, $20.0B, Up $2.19B, Germany
  14. (76) Ernesto Bertarelli, $15.6B, Up $1.43B, Switzerland
  15. (81) Klaus-Michael Kuehne, $15.0B, Up $3.47B, Germany
  16. (82) Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken, $15.0B, Up $3.86B, Netherlands
  17. (90) Dietrich Mateschitz, $13.7B, Up $2.57B, Austria
  18. (92) Hasso Plattner, $13.5B, Up $2.62B, Germany
  19. (99) Karl Albrecht Jr, $12.7B, Up $1.54B, Germany
  20. (100) Beate Heister, $12.7B, Up $1.54B, Germany
  21. (102) Alain Wertheimer, $12.4B, Up $2.19B, France
  22. 103 Gerard Wertheimer, $12.4B, Up $2.19B, France
  23. (109) Petr Kellner, $12.3B, Up $961M, Czech Rep
  24. (116) Hans Rausing, $12.0B, Up $1.50B, Sweden
  25. (121)  Heinz Hermann Thiele, $11.8B, Up $1.26B, Germany
  26. (129) Reinhold Wuerth, $11.0B, Up $3.10B, Germany
  27. (136) John Fredriksen, $10.5B, Up $537M, Cyprus
  28. (139) Jim Ratcliffe, $10.1B, Up $3.86B, UK
  29. (142) Kjeld Kristiansen, $10.5B, Up $389M, Denmark
  30. (151) James Dyson, $9.47B, Up $4.81B, UK
  31. (166) August von Finck, $8.84B,  Up $840M, Germany
  32. (167) Gianluigi Aponte, $8.81B, Up $1.91B, Switzerland
  33. (168) Paolo Rocca, $8.78B, Down $436M, Italy
  34. (179)  Xavier Niel, $8.42B, Up $1.71B, France
  35. (180) Ludwig Merckle, $8.35B, Up $990M, Germany
  36. (184) Dietmar Hopp, $8.30B, Up $1.80B, Germany
  37. (192) Emmanuel Besnier, $8.15B, Up $881M, France
  38. (194) Silvio Berlusconi, $8.02B, Up $674M, Italy
  39. (203) Giorgio Armani, $7.71B, Up $551M, Italy
  40. (206) Theo Albrecht Jr, $7.64B, Up $338M, Germany
  41. (207) Bertil Hult, $7.56B, Up $1.65B, Sweden
  42. (208) Charles Gerald John Cadogan, $7.53B, Up $600M UK
  43. (209) Sandra Ortega Mera, $7.52B, Up $428M Spain
  44. (213) Johann Graf $7.41B, Up $452M, Austria
  45. (215) Patrick Drahi $7.38B, Down $2.95B, France
  46. (222) Gustaf Douglas $7.26B, Up $1.81B, Sweden
  47. (224) Frederik Paulsen ,$7.12B, Up $57.0M, Up $913M Sweden
  48. (228) Melker Schorling $7.03B, Up $938M, Sweden
  49. (235) Jorn Rausing $6.77B, Up $185M, Sweden
  50. (237) Antonia Axson Johnson $6.70B, Up $626M, Sweden

Source: Bloomberg Billionaires Index (13.11.2017)

About revoltingeurope

Writer on Europe's Left, trade union and social movements @tomgilltweets or @revoltingeurope

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