Spain dreads return of the ‘years of hunger’…(Coming Here…Got Food?!)
As unemployment rises and food queues grow ever longer, it’s reminiscent of the 1950s
SUNDAY 03 JUNE 2012
Two days ago, the main cartoon in the Spanish daily El Pais showed two people staring at a sun which has just one beam left, the punchline being: “Remember when it had a full set?” It is indeed growing increasingly hard to remember such a time in the land of desperation formerly known as Spain.
“Photos for weddings? Down 50 per cent. Christenings? Down 30 per cent,” Karlis Mendrano, a long-standing professional photographer in his fifties from San Sebastian, told me. “Ever since the bank cut off the credit, people marry far less, and they want less when they do. I can’t put up my prices, so I give them cheaper quality. It’s never been so bad.”
Chari Peinado, an experienced waitress in an Irish bar in southern Spain, said: “There are periods, like yesterday lunchtime, when it all just shuts down and there’s literally nobody. It’s eerie. Really bad.” And Julio Alvarez, a financial consultant, said: “If things go on like this we are heading towards the abyss” – as if that were the most normal thing in the world. He added: “Most people don’t have a clue what an international bailout really is. They just know we’re up the creek.”