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

(5) Amancio Ortega, $74.4B, Up $2.26B, Spain
(7) Bernard Arnault, $60.5B, Up $21.4B, France
(14) Ingvar Kamprad, $46.8B, Up $2.85B, Sweden
(16) Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, $7.27B, Up $43.4B France
(31) Francois Pinault, $25.1B, Up $10.0B, France
(33) Giovanni Ferrero, $23.0B, Up $2.74B, Italy
(34) Dieter Schwarz, $22.8B, Up $1.98B, Germany
(35) Georg Schaeffler, $22.4B, Up $4.52B, Germany
(36) Susanne Klatten, $22.4B, Up $2.76B, Germany
(39) Stefan Persson, $21.6B, Down $1.46B, Sweden
(40) Serge Dassault, $21.5B, Up $6.29B, France
(41) Leonardo del Vecchio, $20.7B, Up $2.35B, Italy
(45) Stefan Quandt, $20.0B, Up $2.19B, Germany
(76) Ernesto Bertarelli, $15.6B, Up $1.43B, Switzerland
(81) Klaus-Michael Kuehne, $15.0B, Up $3.47B, Germany
(82) Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken, $15.0B, Up $3.86B, Netherlands
(90) Dietrich Mateschitz, $13.7B, Up $2.57B, Austria
(92) Hasso Plattner, $13.5B, Up $2.62B, Germany
(99) Karl Albrecht Jr, $12.7B, Up $1.54B, Germany
(100) Beate Heister, $12.7B, Up $1.54B, Germany
(102) Alain Wertheimer, $12.4B, Up $2.19B, France
103 Gerard Wertheimer, $12.4B, Up $2.19B, France
(109) Petr Kellner, $12.3B, Up $961M, Czech Rep
(116) Hans Rausing, $12.0B, Up $1.50B, Sweden
(121) Heinz Hermann Thiele, $11.8B, Up $1.26B, Germany
(129) Reinhold Wuerth, $11.0B, Up $3.10B, Germany
(136) John Fredriksen, $10.5B, Up $537M, Cyprus
(139) Jim Ratcliffe, $10.1B, Up $3.86B, UK
(142) Kjeld Kristiansen, $10.5B, Up $389M, Denmark
(151) James Dyson, $9.47B, Up $4.81B, UK
(166) August von Finck, $8.84B, Up $840M, Germany
(167) Gianluigi Aponte, $8.81B, Up $1.91B, Switzerland
(168) Paolo Rocca, $8.78B, Down $436M, Italy
(179) Xavier Niel, $8.42B, Up $1.71B, France
(180) Ludwig Merckle, $8.35B, Up $990M, Germany
(184) Dietmar Hopp, $8.30B, Up $1.80B, Germany
(192) Emmanuel Besnier, $8.15B, Up $881M, France
(194) Silvio Berlusconi, $8.02B, Up $674M, Italy
(203) Giorgio Armani, $7.71B, Up $551M, Italy
(206) Theo Albrecht Jr, $7.64B, Up $338M, Germany
(207) Bertil Hult, $7.56B, Up $1.65B, Sweden
(208) Charles Gerald John Cadogan, $7.53B, Up $600M UK
(209) Sandra Ortega Mera, $7.52B, Up $428M Spain
(213) Johann Graf $7.41B, Up $452M, Austria
(215) Patrick Drahi $7.38B, Down $2.95B, France
(222) Gustaf Douglas $7.26B, Up $1.81B, Sweden
(224) Frederik Paulsen ,$7.12B, Up $57.0M, Up $913M Sweden
(228) Melker Schorling $7.03B, Up $938M, Sweden
(235) Jorn Rausing $6.77B, Up $185M, Sweden
(237) Antonia Axson Johnson $6.70B, Up $626M, Sweden
Source: Bloomberg Billionaires Index (13.11.2017)

The above article first appeared here:

For comparative purposes…

nz’s rich list:


The country’s two wealthiest people own the same amount as the poorest 30 percent in New Zealand.

And the richest 1 percent of New Zealanders own 20 percent of wealth, while 90 percent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth.