I think when you are looking at individual countries this is an error because the banking IBan system is united in the hole of Europe and has given birth to the biggest capital flight in the history of financial institutions.
On your title question, I use the European countries to show how even with capitalism, it is quite possible, over long periods of time, to have significantly less inequality than what the US now has. The subtext is to argue that a mobilized working class (in trade unions and in socialist and labor parties - even when their anti-capitalism is muted or altogether gone) can restrict and limit capitalist inequality (a point also that emerges from Piktetty's book on Capital in the 21st Century). And in its self consciousness, that ability can readily be extended to going beyond the restriction of capitalist inequality to the bigger issue of systemically "solving" inequality by going beyond capitalism (say toward an economy built on worker coops as the core enterprise organization).
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