.- The Institute for Family Policy in Spain unveiled a report today entitled “Assistance for Children in Spain,” which indicates a lack of interest in supporting families on the part of the government of President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. The report also confirms that of the 25 countries that make up the European Union, Spain provides the least amount of assistance to the family.
“Today out of the 25 EU [countries], Spain is the one that provides the least assistance to families, allotting only 0.5% of its GDP. Moreover, it’s the only European country that does not allot at least 1% of its GDP,” the report explains.
The Institute notes that although the cost of raising a child during the first 18 years is more than $6500 per year, the State only provides $382 in assistance, which does not even cover 5% of the expenses. This discrepancy is aggravated by the fact that only about 10% of families can receive this assistance given the strict conditions set by the government.
The president of the Institute, Eduardo Hertfelder, said that the most serious aspect of the situation is that there has been no increase in assistance during the last six years, despite a 25% increase in the cost of raising a child. This is evidence, he asserted, of the lack of importance the government gives to the family and to children.
“The lack of assistance is keeping families from having the number of children they would like,” the report goes on to say. Although Europeans would like to have an average of 2 children, in Spain it is only possible to have one child and still make ends meet.
“We are an aging country with increasingly fewer children, with more and more empty homes, with fewer and more broken marriages,” the report states.
The Institute announced it would present a series of measures aimed at helping families with children and preventing the family in Spain from continuing to decline.