В Амстердаме очередь из людей, ждущих под промозглым небом своей очереди наполнить сумки бесплатным рисом, соком, картошкой и хлебом, продолжает увеличиваться. 135 продовольственных банков в Голландии спасают людей, которые пытаются выжить меньше чем на 180 евро в месяц, что является порогом, чтобы претендовать на получение помощи.
Европейцы повсюду меняют работу, дома и привычки, чтобы приспособиться к низкой оплате труда, сдвигу рынка и замедлению экономики, на фоне принятия правительствами непопулярных мер по сокращению бюджетных дефицитов.
В настоящее время кризис добрался до Голландии и других стран, которые раньше считались неуязвимыми. Очереди за продовольствием будут расти, по мере того как люди будут продолжать терять работу и разрываться между оплатой аренды или ипотеки или покупкой продуктов.
Это происходит и в таких странах как Британия - страна снова свалилась в рецессию, хотя и провела самые большие урезания расходов среди 10 крупнейших стран ЕС.
Dutch With Food Aid Shows New Economic Reality Engulfing Europe
It’s just after lunchtime on a drizzly day in the Amsterdam suburb of Bos en Lommer and the line of people waiting to fill their bags with free rice, juice, potatoes and bread is lengthening.
The market is one of 135 food banks in the Netherlands bailing out people trying to survive on less than 180 euros ($234) a month, the threshold to qualify for the aid. Organizers say demand for the service rose 20 percent in the first quarter.
“I’m alone, so I will manage, but what’s happening to families, with kids and everything?” Willem Lammers, 52, who lost his job as a packager six months ago and has 4,000 euros of debt, said as he made his ninth visit to the bank on April 20. “I don’t know how they do it.”
While Athens emerged as the center of Europe’s debt crisis, cities across the continent are trying to cope with the biggest decline in prosperity since World War II. A report last week showed that euro-area unemployment rose to the highest in more than 15 years in April and the region’s economy is contracting for the second time in three years.
Voters in France elected Francois Hollande as president May 6 after he pledged to soften austerity measures backed by his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy, while Greece was thrown into another stage of turmoil after elections split parliament between pro- and anti-bailout parties with no clear winner.
“Before people didn’t see any questions and now they don’t see any answers,” said Austin Hughes, an economist at KBC Bank Ireland in Dublin. “There had been an expectation that incomes, employment prospects and asset prices would improve forever. That certainty is now gone.”
Lyon to Valencia
Europeans everywhere are changing jobs, homes and habits to accommodate lower pay, shifting markets and slowing economies.
The malaise is affecting residents in the capital of AAA rated Netherlands, whose government quit last month amid opposition to budget cuts, as well as those in Lyon, France’s hub for small companies, Dublin, where the immensity of the euro region’s banking losses first surfaced in 2008, and Valencia, with the most unpaid bills of Spain’s semi-autonomous states.
“We have to condition ourselves to get used to something that for now we are calling a crisis and that soon will become normal,” said Ramon Congost Valles, 62, managing director of Aidico, Valencia’s construction technology institute.
One of the two music schools where Francisco Perez, a 36- year-old oboe teacher in Almussafes in the suburbs of Valencia, works cut his monthly pay by about 150 euros after the government reduced subsidies by about 50 percent. He said he now earns 850 euros a month.
“It seems one should consider oneself fortunate to even have a job,” Perez said.
Valencia, whose debt is rated junk by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s Investors Service, has applied for central government aid because of 4.2 billion euros of unpaid bills to about 10,000 suppliers. The city, once at the heart of Spain’s real-estate boom, is cutting social benefits, investments and public jobs while raising taxes and the price of education and health care.
Palmira Castellano, 50, lives in the Valencia suburb of El Perrello with her 23-year-old disabled daughter. She said she is looking for work after her brother-in-law lost his job in the construction industry and can no longer provide financial assistance. Her parents also don’t have enough left from their monthly pension of 1,200 euros to help out and she can’t cope on the 500 euro stipend that her daughter gets from the government.
“The situation is really very ugly,” Castellano said. “My sister is too ill to work. Her husband is unemployed and they have a mortgage to pay, and my parents can’t support all of us on one pension.”
The 50 biggest publicly traded companies in the euro region lost about 1 trillion euros of stock market value in the past five years, based on the performance of the Euro Stoxx 50 Price Index. European home prices have dropped as much as 33 percent from their peak levels in 2007, according to the European Housing Review 2012 published in February by the London-based Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
A gauge for Western European sovereign debt risk also has risen. The price of the Markit iTraxx SovX Western Europe index for five-year credit-default swaps was 285 basis points yesterday, up from less than 50 in October 2009 when Greece began to disclose the true level of its debt.