In England, the BBC is interested in the inflation that affects precarious families. In Bristol, Samuel lives alone with his two children on the 15th floor of this building. This security guard is on sick leave, without financial assistance. Once all the bills have been paid, she only has €59 left a week to buy food and clothe her sons: “I withdraw money, so I know I can’t exceed this budget. If I don’t haven’t spent it all, I’ll put it back in the bank”. In the United Kingdom, inflation has been at 10% since September. More and more Britons find themselves in a situation of poverty, like Samuel whose boiler is off, because he knows he will not be able to pay the energy bill.
Inflation and rising wages are also topical in Germany. Workers at a pasta factory have been on strike for four weeks demanding higher wages. Currently paid at the minimum wage, or €12.51 an hour, they are asking for an increase of one euro this year and one euro next year. Request for the moment refused by the company. “We are aware that the company is facing increases in the prices of electricity and raw materials. But we too have to pay our rents”, explains an employee. The situation of this factory is not isolated in Germany. Several unions have launched warning strikes, while negotiations with employers on wage increases are slipping.
Oil and ecological disaster
For its part, Spain remembers one of the worst oil spills in Europe. Twenty years ago, the tanker Prestige sank off the coast of Galicia, west of La Coruña, causing Spain’s worst oil spill. 63,000 tonnes of fuel oil escaped, soiling nearly 3,000 km of coastline. Fuel oil pebbles ended up in Portugal, on the Aquitaine coast and even in Brittany, with a lasting ecological impact. “Five years later, most of the ecosystems were in a relatively acceptable state”, recalls Fins Eirexas, of the ecological association of Galicia. After a long legal series, the Spanish justice sentenced the captain of prestige to two years in prison. The ship’s owner and insurer had to pay 1.6 billion euros to the Spanish state.