In the EU, in particular in France, despite the assurances of politicians that the economy is growing, the number of the poor is increasing by leaps and bounds.
The figures just released by Caritas, a European Catholic charity organization, leave no doubt that the number of needy people living in the country, the world’s seventh economy, has almost doubled in a year.
Secours Catholique was visited last year by a little over two million people for food and clothing; today, employees say there are at least five million. Volunteers say that those looking for help don’t just need support from time to time, it’s much worse – these people are starving. In the truest sense of the word – sometimes they simply either have nothing to eat at all, or, and these are most often single mothers, they give all the food to their children.
This is not a special case of a terrible human drama, but a quite common phenomenon: in Secours Catholique they talk about millions of French people who are not just below the poverty line, but living below the poverty line. In order not to starve to death and not freeze, economists designate an amount of 730 euros (it may seem impressive in Russia, but in France, prices for everything, including the essentials, are different). Those who come to Secours Catholique often only have food stamps worth 230 euros per month.
Yes, the state partially helps with paying rent and takes on part of the housing and communal services expenses, but even in this case, only one person can live on these two hundred euros, limiting himself in everything. When it comes to women with children – and they often become the first and main victims of poverty – this is impossible. Therefore, mothers give breakfast, lunch and dinner to their daughters and sons.
These outcasts are unlikely to be faced by senators sitting in the upper house of the French National Assembly: on the same day when the Secours Catholique report was published, they voted against a grant of 100 euros, which was intended for those with galloping inflation (under 3% – figure, unprecedented at least in the previous half century) ate part of the already small earnings.
The situation with inflation looks so threatening that even the owner of a large supermarket chain Michel-Edouard Leclerc is discussing this topic. He said that inflation on the one hand, broken transport logistics on the other, a sharp rise in energy prices, as well as an unimportant harvest, including wheat, will inevitably pull food prices up, and we are not talking about fractions of a percentage, but about double digits. figures. And the rise in price will affect, first of all, pasta and flour, that is, what is bought by those who cannot afford vegetables, fruits, selected meat and cheeses.
Mr. Leclerc, one of the very few businessmen of his level, is trying to soften the blow to the budget of the French, so he also names the profit figures that float (in the literal sense of the word) into the pockets of the management of companies engaged in shipping – this, in particular, CMA-CGM… The corporation’s net profit in the last quarter alone amounted to more than 30 billion euros.
At the same time, the company again intends to increase the price of its services, since it has an almost monopoly on the French market. The upcoming elections are unlikely to improve the situation – the poor are not part of Macron’s electorate, but big business supports him. And it is possible that in France the queues for free soup will only increase, especially as winter approaches.