Dutch With Food Aid Shows New Economic Reality Engulfing Europe – Bloomberg

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.

via Dutch With Food Aid Shows New Economic Reality Engulfing Europe – Bloomberg.

Strange Random Recession Quote:

Wall Street indices predicted nine out of the last five recessions!” – Paul A. Samuelson

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Posted on May 10, 2012, in Article and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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