Spanish society is breaking down, like Greece’s
before it, under insane, budget-cutting policies on the pretext
of paying unpayable debts. A story decrying the “alarming
increase in the number of suicides in Spain” due to the economic
crisis was published by Alerta Digital three days ago. It charges
that the press and politicans are covering up what people see
happening around them, such as the recent case of a 56-year-old
disabled woman who jumped from the balcony of her 11th story
apartment when she was about to be evicted, as 100 people watched
in horror, trying to convince her to not jump. Eures, a European
Commission network, estimates at least one Spaniard commits
suicide a day because of economic precariousness. Businessmen,
unemployed, retirees with miserable pensions are killing
themselves out of desperation.
The suicide figures do not count the youth who have become
drug addicts, due to the toal lack of a future, the article
notes. The number of people addicted to drugs is now feared to be
higher than during the last half of the 1970s; people who don’t
have the money to buy drugs, are inventing them, such as one made
from cow dung, according to police.
(The government of Catalunya recently admitted there was a
10% increase in suicides in that region in 2011 over the year
before, as an average of 1.5 people a day killed themselves.
There was a nearly 22% increase in suicide attempts.)
Alerta Digital reports that many of the suicides are
businessmen. Spain is a country of family businesses, the author
writes, and tens of thousands of these businesses have closed in
the last three years.
With prices sky-high, salaries frozen (already among the
lowest in Europe), and taxes at record rates, many people are
reduced to stealing food from the supermarkets to survive. Entire
families live off the shrinking pension of the grandfather in the
family. Consumption is at its lowest rate in more than 70 years.
“It is a harsh present which Spain is living through.
Perhaps the worst since the Spanish civil war. And the worst is
that there is very little margin for hope. How many more suicides
will continue to be hidden in the coming months?”
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