Economic crisis caused by COVID-19 wreaking havoc in Europe
The economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic is wreaking havoc across Europe, especially among the middle classes. Nearly half the people asking for social and financial assistance in the continent now are called the “new poor”.
They’re people who, for the first time, are in a position of vulnerability.
Barcelona, Spain’s second most populous city known for its architecture, culture and thriving business sector has recently revealed a darker side. People from various sectors of society are suddenly finding themselves exposed to hardship and occasional hunger.
“I never imagined myself in this position,” a Barcelona resident told Euronews. "I was doing fine. My life just took a turn for the worse. Honestly, going and asking for food at first makes you feel ashamed.”
Oxfam believes that COVID-19 could raise the number of people living in poverty by around 1.1 million in Spain, the European Union’s sixth-richest country.
The coronavirus has shattered lives in Spain. Many who were once in a comfortable situation, have now found themselves on the streets.
New poverty caused by the pandemic is hitting countries all over Europe.
Austria is no exception. Vienna, the capital is known for its wealth and well-being. But just like Barcelona, this city has a hidden side. Almost without warning many have been left without work and exposed to hardships, including hunger. Food stocked on the shelves of NGOs is disappearing quickly.
Pandemic induced “New poverty” has also come down hard on single parents, the self-employed, small business owners, and seasonal workers, the list goes on and on.
“The corona crisis is like a magnifying glass showing the fine fractures in society,” said Tanja Wehsely, the director of the NGO, Volkshilfe Wien.