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maltatoday WEDNESDAY 4 APRIL 2018 News 3 YANNICK PACE THE number of people living at risk of poverty and social exclusion has experienced a sharp decrease since 2013, ac- cording to Eurostat data pub- lished on Monday. In 2010, 21.2% of the popu- lation was considered to be at risk, with the number increas- ing to 24% by 2013, before dropping to 20.1% in 2016. The European average for 2016 stood at 23.5% of the popula- tion. In a tweet, the Prime Min- ister described the results as "prosperity with a purpose". The survey also found a sharp drop in the number of severely materially deprived people. The number of materially de- prived people dropped to 4.4% of the population in 2016, hav- ing stood at 10.2% in 2014. Similarly, the percentage of households where members of working age worked less than 20% of their total potential, fell by 15% between 2014 and 2016. In a statement, the ministry for social solidarity said Mal- ta was doing a lot better than other European Union mem- ber states. While the number of people living at risk of poverty saw a sharp decline, the survey also found an increase in the per- centage of the population liv- ing at risk of income poverty. In 2012 the number stood at 15.1% of the total population, rising to 16.5% in 2016. People at risk of income pov- erty after social transfers are defined as those having a dis- posable income amounting to less than 60% of the national median income. The ministry said the gov- ernment was conscious of the fact that several challenges still remained, including the rental market. "These results show the ex- tent to which the government is addressing the needs of the most vulnerable in society," read the statement, adding that the government's policies were resulting in unprecedented economic growth. People at risk of poverty down 4% since 2013 - Eurostat TIA RELJIC THE Maltese authorities will continue to make appropri- ate use of all the means in place – in full respect with the fundamental values of the Council of Europe – in inves- tigating the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe wrote, saying that they are "confi- dent" of this fact. The Committee was re- sponding to a question sent by Dutch MP Pieter Omtzigt. Referring to the delegation sent on a fact-finding mis- sion to Malta in November of last year, the Commit- tee said that the delegation had passed on information detailing the steps taken by the Maltese authorities in re- gards to the investigation. The Committee said that it does not see any reason for taking additional measures, as the necessary investiga- tions are being conducted by "independent judicial bodies and in full cooperation with all competent Council of Eu- rope mechanisms in place". Omtzigt asked whether the Committee would be request- ing explanations from the Maltese government on the "failure" of the Police Force to investigate money laundering my government officials and its relatives, as well as its "fail- ure" to "adequately protect" Caruana Galizia. The Committee said that these allegations were sub- ject to an ongoing judicial in- quiry, and that the delegation had provided information on its visit in November, its report, and of the upcoming visit by GRECO which will be followed by a monitoring evaluation by MONEVAL. In light of this, and Com- mittee concluded that there was no need for additional measures to be taken. Committee of Ministers 'confident' in Maltese authorities DAPHNE CARUANA GALIZIA MURDER INVESTIGATION: The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe said that it is confident that the Maltese authorities will make appropriate use of mechanisms in place

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