Starcat 1 by my favourite artist

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Starving in Portugal

Some of you might have read my post Pensión Laguna in which I mention the effects of the economic crisis in Spain.

If I thought things were bad here in Spain, a recent trip to GB via Portugal (see the post below) opened my eyes to just how bad it is in Portugal.

While waiting for the check-in desks to open in Faro airport, my daughter and I spent quite a lot of time observing the comings and goings of our fellow passengers and noted that there was a relatively well-dressed man doing the rounds of the cafés on the concourse, approaching a table after the customers had left it. Quickly it became obvious that he was looking for food.

Fortunately, we had some sandwiches to give him before we went to the departure lounge.

When we returned after a glorious week of boating in England, we had a lot of time to kill before getting the bus back to Spain. During our wait we managed to give away all six of the Cornish pasties I had brought from GB to stick-thin people asking for food. I do not know whether these people had a drug problem, but past experience has taught me that addicts ask for money "for food" not food itself. They get somewhat disgruntled if they receive food.

These people, however, were genuinely hungry.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg of the suffering that is all too common in the EU. In Greece families are giving their children up for adoption in the hope that they will be fed and clothed adequately.

Where is this all going to end?

1 comment:

  1. The picture is pretty bleak in Europe as a whole and especially bad in some areas. What is the cause and is there someone to blame? I have no idea, being an ignoramus in economic matters. I suspect that there is no one simple cause and no one person or organization who can be justly blamed.

    One possibility is that by creating the European Union and welcoming into it members right left and centre, we have set up an organization whose responsibilities simply exceed its ability to handle them. I opposed Britain's entry into the then Common Market but for a while came to approve of the EU because of some of its valuable initiatives. I now find myself turning against it, though not for the same reasons as those espoused by Tory "eurosceptics". I think Cameron is right to want to redefine our relationship with that troubled body, though not confident that he will get it right.

    Of course, the awful problems seen by you in Spain and Portugal may have nothing to do with the EU and my remarks above will then be irrelevant. Even more importantly, we need to be seeking solutions but it seems that the solutions found by the politicians, even if they will produce a cure in the long term are, in the short term, serving to make things even worse.