June 14, 2013 - 10:47 AMT
Putin: Moscow won’t back Europe’s ineffective welfare model

President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, June 13 described the main difference he sees between social welfare in Russia and in European countries, which he criticized for losing control of their economies and allowing the rise of a “dependency mentality,” according to an interview with RIA Novosti.

Europe’s problem is not the welfare state as such, but “inefficiency,” Putin said in answers to written questions.

While a modern state must honor its obligation “to take care of its population and ensure its social protection” or face the risk of collapse, European countries have been “living beyond their means” and are now “witnessing the rise of a dependency mentality … [that] endangers not only the economy but the moral foundation of society,” Putin said. “It is no secret that many citizens of less developed countries come to Europe specifically to live on social welfare.”

In contrast, Putin praised Russia’s low unemployment and real wage growth, saying that these, plus the growth of consumer spending and bank lending, are the basic factors stimulating the country’s economy, RIA Novosti reported.