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22 Jan, 2019 11:45

World’s richest gather in Davos to tackle global poverty, but key leaders are missing

World’s richest gather in Davos to tackle global poverty, but key leaders are missing

World political and business elites are gathering in Davos, Switzerland, for an annual forum on how to tackle global problems, like the increasing wealth gap between rich and poor. Several key leaders will be missing though.

This year the leader of the US, the UK and France will not be attending the World Economic Forum due to domestic troubles.

Donald Trump is busy with his government shutdown. Theresa May is bogged down by Brexit negotiations complete with defiant MPs and unyielding EU officials. Emmanuel Macron has crowds of yellow vest-wearing protesters, outraged at his austerity reforms. Arguably the biggest political name on the guest list is German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

On the other hand, Davos will be the first international visit for Brazil’s controversial new President Jair Bolsonaro, who is to deliver a speech later on Tuesday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a fellow right-wing strongman is attending too, despite facing corruption allegations and strong competition in the upcoming snap election at home.

As the gathering takes place, a new report by the British charity Oxfam, released last week, said the world’s 26 wealthiest people own as much as the poorest half of humanity – a new record of inequality for an increasingly economically disparate world.

Also on rt.com Richest 26 people own same amount of wealth as poorest half of the world – Oxfam

“We are seeing the picture is getting worse and worse. More and more wealth is being concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer people each year,” Oxfam’s Toni Pearce told RT’s Going Underground program.

That wealth goes undertaxed while the poorest people pay a huge amount of taxes… And then very little tax money is being able to be spent on things like healthcare or education, which could be an equalizer for the people living in poverty.

Tackling poverty is one of the most persistent issues discussed at Davos, where the most powerful people in the world get together over champagne and caviar and talk about how this problem can be solved. As the Oxfam report shows, those discussions don’t really result in tangible solutions.

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