Eurozone crisis has pushed millions into poverty
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Eurozone crisis has pushed millions into poverty

Eurozone crisis has pushed millions into poverty

10 December 2012 – 15H00

Spanish anti-austerity 'indignados' stage a protest in Valladolid in October. Crushed by an austerity squeeze and towering unemployment, millions of Europeans joined the ranks of the newly poor in 2012 in a crisis that showed no mercy for the old, women or children.

Spanish anti-austerity ‘indignados’ stage a protest in Valladolid in October. Crushed by an austerity squeeze and towering unemployment, millions of Europeans joined the ranks of the newly poor in 2012 in a crisis that showed no mercy for the old, women or children.

Spanish anti-austerity ‘indignados’ stage a protest in Valladolid in October. Crushed by an austerity squeeze and towering unemployment, millions of Europeans joined the ranks of the newly poor in 2012 in a crisis that showed no mercy for the old, women or children.

Police vans block a street in September to stop 'indignado' protesters reaching the parliament building in Madrid. Mercedes Gonzalez, a 52-year-old Spaniard, has less than 800 euros ($1,000) a month to raise her unemployed family in the Madrid suburb of Fuenlabrada.

Police vans block a street in September to stop ‘indignado’ protesters reaching the parliament building in Madrid. Mercedes Gonzalez, a 52-year-old Spaniard, has less than 800 euros ($1,000) a month to raise her unemployed family in the Madrid suburb of Fuenlabrada.

AFP – Crushed by an austerity squeeze and towering unemployment, millions of Europeans joined the ranks of the newly poor in 2012 in a crisis that showed no mercy for the old, women or children.

An arc of misery spread pitilessly across southern Europe’s middle classes, engulfing bailed-out nations Greece and Portugal and tottering heavyweights such as the eurozone’s number four economy, Spain, and number three, Italy.

“The black hole is getting bigger and bigger,” fretted Mercedes Gonzalez, a 52-year-old Spaniard who has less than 800 euros ($1,000) a month to raise her unemployed family in the Madrid suburb of Fuenlabrada.

In July, she was still pocketing the monthly state aid of 426 euros for the long-term unemployed. But the benefit was slashed to 360 euros last month, she said, and in the meantime a September 1 rise in sales tax lifted the price of food and other regular bills.

“Things are really getting worse, we can’t breathe already,” said the energetic unemployed saleswoman whose voice betrayed weariness as she contemplated caring for herself, her carpenter husband and two of her three adult sons, all out of work.

Spain is displaying all the signs of a major social crisis, with one in four workers unemployed, an unprecedented austerity squeeze by the state, cuts to education and healthcare, and thousands of indebted families thrown out of their homes and into the streets.

In this country, where two home owners threatened with eviction recently committed suicide, as in other southern European nations such as Greece and Italy, the economic crisis is sowing implacable despair.

In Italy, the fate of an unemployed bricklayer who was being chased for unpaid taxes moved the entire country.

Giuseppe Campaniello set himself ablaze outside a tax office at the end of March and died after nine days of agony.

“You can’t expect a self-employed bricklayer to pay taxes even for the months when he is not working. The state beats you up and Giuseppe paid the consequences,” his 48-year-old widow said Tiziana Marrone from Bologna in central Italy told AFP.

“Giuseppe was not helped out. He felt he had his back to the wall. That morning he had to go to a criminal hearing for his taxes. It should have never got to that. We all make mistakes but he never stole from anybody!” she said.

“His was also a protest. Our laws drove him to it. It wasn’t a suicide linked to the crisis, it was state-sanctioned murder,” she said.

via Eurozone crisis has pushed millions into poverty – FRANCE 24.

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