Even though the GNP per capita of the members of the EU is among the highest in the world, it has according to Eurostat 7 million poor people in 1993. Their proportion relative to the total population may vary from 5% in Denmark to 18% in Greece and Portugal with some 10% in France. And yet ail these countries have adopted various measures intended to guarantee the poorest a minimum standard geared to ensure at least their most basic needs. This article by Jacques Bichot and Dominique Marcilhacy describe these minimum standards in France while showing the maze resulting from the layering of measures adopted one after the other without any harmonization.
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