October 2, 2022

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Citizens of “rich Europe”, getting poorer. The English fear a humanitarian catastrophe, the Belgians associate themselves with the payments

Moscow’s energy blackmail, cascading price hikes and drought-compromised harvests have Western economists believing Europe is sliding into recession.

Country after country is reporting worrying economic indicators and the hard times have only just begun.

Gas embargo now!“.

Two anti-Russia activists quickly took off their shirts and unexpectedly flanked Olaf Scholz at the open day at the German Chancellery.

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However, Chancellor Scholz faces protests from the opposite camp as well: Germans who can no longer endure galloping inflation or who are in danger of losing their jobs.

Disappear! Disappear!“.

Olaf Scholz, Chancellor of Germany: ”In addition to what we have already done, we will implement new support measures for citizens who are struggling due to inflation“.

Liar! Liar!“.

Two different sides of the crisis that begins to grind Europe after all the conditions for a perfect storm have met: galloping inflation, war, insufficient gas, drought, fires.

Milk has risen in price by 40% in one month in England

Hence the fears of the outbreak, in the autumn, of some social disturbances. German industry is in great danger if the Russians completely stop gas supplies.

Jan Eckerskorn, Zinkpower Meckenheim manager: “The specifics of the plant are such that we can only operate if we have gas. We cannot close temporarily or partially. Of course, we are also looking for alternative solutions, renewable energies, etc. But these are long-term scenarios. Just getting the permits takes years and such conversions cost a lot. You can’t do that in a year“.

The economy of the United Kingdom also entered the decline, where inflation exceeded 10%, for the first time since February 1982.

A half-liter bottle of milk became more expensive by 40% compared to July, and a kilogram of flour – by 30%.

The Bank of England is even forecasting inflation of 13% for October as the protests intensify.

2,000 workers at Felixstowe, the UK’s largest container port, launched an eight-day strike on Sunday demanding higher wages.

Rail workers are also always on strike, and postal workers are planning to do the same later this month.

I’ve crossed a lot off my grocery list, including groceries, and I shop around for the best price at multiple stores instead of just one. But of course this means gas consumption, which has risen in price“.

Health officials fear that 10,000 people will die this winter

For this family business, the effects of price increases are heartbreaking. The owners are to close the farm and shop, which has been their livelihood for more than 22 years, after running up a £76,000 energy bill.

I thought there was a mistake with the invoice, I checked and the amount turned out to be real. It is devastating for us“.

And those who sell products that are not strictly necessary, such as jewelry, confirm the decline.

The changes are dramatic. If I look at the people who still come through our door, it’s only the very, very rich“.

The warning of the confederation of health workers is also dramatic, fearing a humanitarian catastrophe in the winter, when 10,000 people risk dying if they can no longer afford food or heating their homes.

When you’re doing chemotherapy, you’re cold all the time. I’m not that cold, but now I need warmth. I put on a sweater, socks, pants, anything to keep me a little warmer“.

Belgians band together to pay bills together

In Belgium, more and more people living alone are looking for arrangements with others in the same situation to ease the burden of bills, which amount to more than 100 euros more than last July.

Philippe Defeyt, economist: ”A TV costs you the same and consumes the same, regardless of whether you are alone in the house or a family. Likewise home insurance“.

Another solution that is becoming popular in Belgium is growing vegetables in small backyards.

When you see inflation, you go back to your grandparents’ stories: grow your garden (literally) for extra vegetables“.

We have brought back into the trends somewhat forgotten vegetables, such as beets, which do not require a lot of water“.

Other advice for taming inflation comes from the Japanese, who are also reporting 2% inflation after more than 13 years of battling deflation.

The Japanese government recommends citizens to go to the flea market, not the mall, to share their house, car, parking or skills with friends or neighbors, to move to cheaper areas, especially if they can work remotely.

Also, find another job, start a business and take risks by investing as little as possible in stocks, bonds or specialized funds.

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