News / Economy

In Spain, Millions Forced Below Poverty Line

Economic Crisis Leaves Millions of Spaniards Impoverishedi
|| 0:00:00
X
Al Pessin
October 23, 2012 7:27 PM
In central Madrid on a Saturday afternoon, the economic crisis seems like something only economists worry about. But in the working class suburb of Mostoles, the crisis hits home.

Economic Crisis Leaves Millions of Spaniards Impoverished

Al Pessin
In central Madrid on a Saturday afternoon, the economic crisis seems like something only economists worry about. But in the working class suburb of Mostoles, the crisis hits home.
 
Here at the San Simon de Rojas food-distribution center, unemployed construction worker Antonio Molino Pelaez is just one of many getting acquainted to life on the streets.
 
"When I had a job, I had a good life. I didn't have lot of money but enough to eat. Now I can't survive. I have nothing," he says. "It affects me a lot, because I'm a man of 41 and I don't have any prospects. I don't have a future. I don't have anything."
 
Pelaez, who eats here six days a week — on Sundays when the food-distribution center is closed, he doesn't eat — has no wife or family to support, a fact for which he is grateful.
 
Many people who come to the food center do have families, including the unemployed waitress who is serving the hungry; living in an abandoned building with her children and unemployed husband, she is too embarrassed to come to the center merely to take a handout.
 
It's a story heard over and over again. Twenty-five per cent of Spanish workers are unemployed and a growing number of them can't afford to buy enough food to live.
 
In addition to breakfast, people who come here get a sandwich for lunch and other items take with them. Lorenzo Inche, an unemployed engineer, came here at first to eat, but then also volunteered to help.
 
"Clearly the changes have been harsh, but not just for me for my whole generation — so many engineers, thousands and thousands of engineers that have been left without work," he says.
 
The center used to feed about 50 people a day, but now, with more than 700 people registered to eat, volunteers have to reset the room several times.
 
"It has changed a lot, many entire families come here," says Amparo Ramos, the center's lead volunteer. "Also, street people and immigrants come. Basically they don't have jobs, and now, if they pay their rent they can't buy food. In Spain we've had some very bad years, but [these are] very bad years."
 
According to predictions of financial experts, Spain likely has at least one more bad year ahead and they say that's probably just the minimum amount of time needed to for the country's hard-hit economy to begin turning around.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Lewis Lauren from: China
October 24, 2012 5:16 AM
It's amazing to learn that the economic situation in Spain has deteriorated to such a mess. Come to China if you can. You can easily find a job here which at least can feed yourself.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7492
JPY
USD
102.27
GBP
USD
0.5960
CAD
USD
1.0950
INR
USD
61.300

Rates may not be current.