January 20, 2013
Spanish Moms Pose for Semi-Nude Calendar to Pay for School Bus Service
Spain, as much of the world, isn’t doing too well economically. After the country’s construction bubble popped the government instituted sizable budget cuts, including to schools, many of which now charge way too much for lunches and have had to cut bus services. Dozens of kids at Evaristo Calayatud in Valencia now have to walk nearly four miles over unpaved roads to get to school.
But a group of mothers aren’t having it. If the government can’t afford school buses, well, they’re just going to raise the money themselves. By posing for a semi-nude calendar.
The calendar features the mothers posing along what was once (and hopefully will be again) a school bus route. Their goal is to raise 43,000 euros, or approximately 56,700 US dollars; the calendars have sold well enough so far that they already have enough to pay for three months of daily bus service for the 83 kids affected. (via The Mary Sue)

Spanish Moms Pose for Semi-Nude Calendar to Pay for School Bus Service

Spain, as much of the world, isn’t doing too well economically. After the country’s construction bubble popped the government instituted sizable budget cuts, including to schools, many of which now charge way too much for lunches and have had to cut bus services. Dozens of kids at Evaristo Calayatud in Valencia now have to walk nearly four miles over unpaved roads to get to school.

But a group of mothers aren’t having it. If the government can’t afford school buses, well, they’re just going to raise the money themselves. By posing for a semi-nude calendar.

The calendar features the mothers posing along what was once (and hopefully will be again) a school bus route. Their goal is to raise 43,000 euros, or approximately 56,700 US dollars; the calendars have sold well enough so far that they already have enough to pay for three months of daily bus service for the 83 kids affected. (via The Mary Sue)

December 1, 2012
Berlin, Germany
The German parliament approves a bailout payment of 44bn euros for Greece by a large majority, despite unease about the cost to taxpayers (via BBC News)

Berlin, Germany

The German parliament approves a bailout payment of 44bn euros for Greece by a large majority, despite unease about the cost to taxpayers (via BBC News)

November 30, 2012
Spanish unemployment crisis – picture gallery
Jasper Juinen was born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands in 1973. He left school at the age of 16 to start as a trainee with Reuters photographer Jerry Lampen, then joined Getty Images in 2007. Here, he documents the troubles of Villacañas in Spain, a formerly thriving industrial town now struggling with unemployment (via guardian.co.uk)

Spanish unemployment crisis – picture gallery

Jasper Juinen was born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands in 1973. He left school at the age of 16 to start as a trainee with Reuters photographer Jerry Lampen, then joined Getty Images in 2007. Here, he documents the troubles of Villacañas in Spain, a formerly thriving industrial town now struggling with unemployment (via guardian.co.uk)

October 20, 2012
Greek poverty so bad families 'can no longer afford to bury their dead'

Greek demonstrations are not now marked by the vehemence or violence of the mass protests that occurred when Europe’s debt drama erupted in Athens, forcing the then socialist government to announce pay and pension cuts, tax increases and benefit losses that few had anticipated. Anger and bewilderment have been replaced by disappointment and despair.

But the quiet fortitude that has been on display could soon run out in the country on the frontline of the continent’s worst crisis since the second world war. For on Thursday demonstrators were sure of one thing: if pushed too far they may be pushed over the edge.

"Personally, I’m amazed there hasn’t been a revolution," said Panaghiotis Varotsos, a computer programmer.

"In Portugal they’re rioting over one measure when here we’ve been made to accept countless cuts and tax increases. And the worst thing about being ground down is that it breeds extremism," said the silver-haired leftist. "In the case of Greece it is extremism that is going to the right because [the neo-Nazi party] Golden Dawn has managed to exploit people’s despair. But it won’t just stay here. It will spread, like this economic crisis, to other parts of Europe, too."

For the vast majority of those who took to the streets, the tipping point could be the latest round of austerity measures being demanded of the debt-stricken country in return for the international rescue funds it so desperately needs to keep bankruptcy at bay.

Under intense pressure from international creditors at the EU and IMF, Samaras’ fragile coalition has been forced to draw up a draconian package of spending cuts worth €13.5bn – the price of a whopping €31.5bn loan instalment that is already four months overdue. Officials have suggested the burden will fall on society’s most vulnerable with pensioners and low-income Greeks once again having to make the biggest sacrifices. (via guardian.co.uk)

October 19, 2012

Greek police clash with anti-austerity demonstrators in Athens

Police and protesters clash in the Greek capital during a large-scale anti-austerity demonstration. Unions are hoping to send a message to EU leaders meeting in Brussels that the cuts will only worsen the plight of a populace worn down by five years of recession (via guardian.co.uk)

April 20, 2012
Madrid, Spain
Vicente Torres sits in the living room of his home in. Vicente, a severely ill 74-year-old pensioner, faces eviction because he is the guarantor of his son’s house and his son was unable to pay for the mortgage even after he was evicted about a year ago. (via Reuters.com)

Madrid, Spain

Vicente Torres sits in the living room of his home in. Vicente, a severely ill 74-year-old pensioner, faces eviction because he is the guarantor of his son’s house and his son was unable to pay for the mortgage even after he was evicted about a year ago. (via Reuters.com)

March 7, 2012
Italy’s Mason-Dixon Line: Euro Crisis Fuels South Tyrolean Separatist Dreams 
Many in northern Italy have long wanted to secede. Now, the euro crisis is giving the separatist movement new momentum, with the rich north unwilling to pony up for the poor south. Prime Minister Monti’s efforts to exert control may be making matters worse. (via SPIEGEL ONLINE)

Italy’s Mason-Dixon Line: Euro Crisis Fuels South Tyrolean Separatist Dreams

Many in northern Italy have long wanted to secede. Now, the euro crisis is giving the separatist movement new momentum, with the rich north unwilling to pony up for the poor south. Prime Minister Monti’s efforts to exert control may be making matters worse. (via SPIEGEL ONLINE)

March 7, 2012
Puertollano, Spain
Mercedes Garcia, the director of a residency for severely mentally disabled adults run by Fuente Agria Foundation, hugs a patient. The residency has been running on fumes for months because the local government, squeezed by austerity measures to combat the euro zone debt crisis, has not paid its share of expenses. (via Reuters.com)

Puertollano, Spain

Mercedes Garcia, the director of a residency for severely mentally disabled adults run by Fuente Agria Foundation, hugs a patient. The residency has been running on fumes for months because the local government, squeezed by austerity measures to combat the euro zone debt crisis, has not paid its share of expenses. (via Reuters.com)

January 7, 2012
Shock figures reveal nearly a quarter of Spaniards are unemployed
As Spaniards celebrated the twelfth day of Christmas today by opening presents brought by the three wise men, the new government received an unwanted gift in the form of shocking unemployment figures that show almost one in four are jobless.
Figures from Eurostat revealed Spain’s unemployment rate had hit 22.9%, with the country accounting for at least one in five of Europe’s jobless.
The figures came just days after officials admitted the social security system had slipped into the red for the first time since 1999 and new finance minister Luis de Guindos warned that the welfare state was under threat.
Few people expect the figures to improve in the short term as Spain enters the second part of a double-dip recession. The Workers’ Commissions trades union has said the fight is now to avoid unemploment rising from five million people to 5.5 million, or one-third of all the unemployed in the euro zone.
But measures to rein in a runaway budget deficit of around 8% will almost certainly push unemployment still higher as the new conservative government of Mariano Rajoy attempts to tax and axe its way out of trouble. (via The Guardian)

Shock figures reveal nearly a quarter of Spaniards are unemployed

As Spaniards celebrated the twelfth day of Christmas today by opening presents brought by the three wise men, the new government received an unwanted gift in the form of shocking unemployment figures that show almost one in four are jobless.

Figures from Eurostat revealed Spain’s unemployment rate had hit 22.9%, with the country accounting for at least one in five of Europe’s jobless.

The figures came just days after officials admitted the social security system had slipped into the red for the first time since 1999 and new finance minister Luis de Guindos warned that the welfare state was under threat.

Few people expect the figures to improve in the short term as Spain enters the second part of a double-dip recession. The Workers’ Commissions trades union has said the fight is now to avoid unemploment rising from five million people to 5.5 million, or one-third of all the unemployed in the euro zone.

But measures to rein in a runaway budget deficit of around 8% will almost certainly push unemployment still higher as the new conservative government of Mariano Rajoy attempts to tax and axe its way out of trouble. (via The Guardian)

December 11, 2011
Brussels, Belgium
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso talks with Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron at a European Union summit. Mr Cameron has effectively vetored an EU-wide treaty change to tackle the eurozone crisis, saying it was not in the UK’s interests. Instead a new “accord” setting out tought budget rules will now be drawn up for the eurozone and at least six other EU states which want to sign up. Mr Barroso said he regretted that unanimity on treaty change had not been possible. (via BBC News)

Brussels, Belgium

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso talks with Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron at a European Union summit. Mr Cameron has effectively vetored an EU-wide treaty change to tackle the eurozone crisis, saying it was not in the UK’s interests. Instead a new “accord” setting out tought budget rules will now be drawn up for the eurozone and at least six other EU states which want to sign up. Mr Barroso said he regretted that unanimity on treaty change had not been possible. (via BBC News)

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