The dire situation in Spain - Hunger - Two segments from Flemish Public TV - With english transcripts

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The dire situation in Spain - Hunger - Two segments from Flemish Public TV - With english transcripts

Yesterday there were two short items about the situation in Spain on the Flemish public broadcaster’s channel Canvas on the program Terzake, which can be watched here:


Below are transcripts of the two segments:


Fragment 1:

Spaanse jongeren zinken weg in diepe armoede – Spanish youth drop into deep poverty


“How should things continue with old Europe? The most recent unemployment numbers are somber: more than one in five Europeans is unemployed. Somberness for sure in Europe and this certainly holds true for Spain. Because there you already have more than six million unemployed people, more than a quarter of the professional population, and half of the young people don’t stand any chance at all in the labour market. From a social point of view Spain is becoming more and more like a developing country.”

Stefaan Meerbergen now reports[at 27sec]:”

[Red headed Spanish young woman:] “I try to be economical so that I will still be able to eat. My money is not used to go out or to buy nice things, it just serves to be able to eat.”

Long rows of unemployed people in the cities. Spain breaks sad records and the end of the tunnel is not yet in sight. 6,200,000 million people are unemployed, that is 27 percent of the active population, and even more disturbing: 57 percent of the youngsters are unable to get a job. More and more families are descending into deep poverty.

[Spanish man:] “I have worked a bit. Not long, just a few days. I have to go back on the dole.”

[Other Spanish man:] “It’s a disaster, a disaster… . They say they will call us. But they don’t call.”

[Spanish official:] “An enormous number of jobs have already been lost. But if the economy doesn’t turn, any employment plan is useless.

[at 1m47sec: picture of youths going through trash looking for food]

Youths are hit hardest by the crisis. They loiter around without a purpose in the cities and look for food leftovers in trashcans. Moreover, the unemployment checks are considerably lower than in Belgium.

[Spanish man:] “You have no perspective whatsoever. You cannot make plans. You simply have nothing. You have to survive day by day.”

You can ask yourself if this is still Europe.

Fragment 2:

Tuytens: "De mensen in Spanje hebben honger" – Tuytens: “The people in Spain are hungry”

Anchor: “Yes, Sven Tuytens in Madrid, you can indeed ask yourself that, because this makes me think of, more and more, a socially developing country.”

Sven Tuytens: “Yes, a few years ago I would never have thought that I would be reporting from Madrid about hunger and indeed the people are hungry in Spain. Twenty minutes ago I left my house and in the street some young men were searching in my trashcan and this they do every evening. People are now starting to place their trash next to their trashcan so it would be easier for other people to take it. And the problem is that this is becoming the new normal, it is no longer an exceptional occurrence. It is something that happens every day. The situation has become very bad today.”

Anchor: “Yes, Sven, now you have in more and more of the big cities that there is a layer of the population who have to search for food in trashcans, but what I noticed in the pictures that we just saw is that it is youth people who are decently dressed and not homeless bag people.”  

Sven Tuytens: “No, they are certainly not bag people, they are students, people with university degrees, people who are decently dressed, proud people, because it is a kind of victory to be able to do something like that: you have to have descended a very long way to go and look for food in trashcans. There is an entire story which preceeds getting to that point. It is really tragic. We are not only talking about young people, but also about elderly who’s pension is no longer sufficient, and we are also speaking about children, because in Spain today there are many children who are malnourished, who are really getting a bad diet, which, again, is something new.”

Anchor: “Yes, and what is being done about this? Can something be done about this?”

Sven Tuytens: “Well, what is happening now concerning children going hungry, there are several schools who have decided to remain open this summer. Traditionally In Spain they eat a hot lunch at noon, they have noticed that there a great many families have opted out of this because they can no longer afford to pay the 23 euros per month to give their children hot food at school. And thus the Red Cross, Caritas and other organizations have decided, with the help of the government, to keep the schools open, in order to be able to enable the children to keep eating.

Anchor: “Strange that Spain doesn’t erupt in a big revolution than.”

Sven Tuytens: “Yes, that is the big question: how is this going to end? And I very often hear the comparison with Argentina being made these last few months. The economic situation of Argentina at the end of the nineties: then we had the same situation: a great many unemployed, the ever widening gap between rich and poor, a disappearing middle class, and more importantly a population that no longer believed in politics.”

Anchor: “Yes, now Argentina, now that we are talking about that, Argentina was able to climb out of that after social and economic shock therapy. Is something like that possible in Spain?

Sven Tuytens: “This is very difficuly because Spain is a member of the European Union, and it is of course a lot harder. The Argentinians devalued their currency at that point and Spain can’t do that with the euro. The ties with the rest of Europe are so strong and can’t be broken all of a sudden and if Spain should exit the Eurozone it would be the end of the European Union because then other countries such as Portugal and Greece could follow. We must not forget that Spain is still the fourth largest economy of Europe, hence this would be a disaster. That situation is impossible, and one hears more and more Spaniards who are saying that it is all the fault of Europe. This is the kind of Europe that we do not want. We had a dream: Europe should have brought us prosperity, but it brings us more misery. This dream has become nightmare for many people today.

Anchor: “Okay, the Spaniards are losing their faith in Europe. Thank you Sven Tuytens.”

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