Tag Archives: Spain

Austerity Leads to Suicide Rate Increase

Friday’s Vancouver Sun had a short item that you might have missed, “Suicides up, road deaths down due to recession.” It’s in the bottom corner of page B5:

Suicides rates rose sharply in Europe in 2007 to 2009 as the financial crisis drove unemployment up and squeezed incomes, with the worst hit countries like Greece and Ireland seeing the most dramatic increases, researchers said Thursday. But rates of road deaths in the region fell during the same period, possibly because higher numbers of jobless people led to lower car use, according to an initial analysis of data from 10 European Union countries.

via Suicides up, road deaths down due to recession.

If one were to extrapolate from this data, one could hypothesize that as more harsh “austerity” measures – including pay cuts and fewer public services in addition to even higher unemployment – are imposed on the Greek people, that the suicide rate will grow even higher.

One might further speculate that, if such severe punishment is also imposed on Spain, Portugal, and other countries which are in economic difficulties, that the suicide rates will increase there as well.

Many economists, including Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman, argue that savage cuts to these countries will only make their economies worse, and inflict more pain on their populations.

On the other hand, the “good” side of the story is that, “rates of road deaths in the region fell during the same period, possibly because higher numbers of jobless people led to lower car use.

Even better, the speculators (gamblers) who have bought the Greek and Irish bonds will get their money back.

And to top it off, the “royal” couple is having SUCH a good time as they visit Los Angeles to party with other “celebrities”!

Isn’t it great to have some good news once in a while?

Ten Million Spanish Workers in General Strike

On Wednesday, 70% of Spanish workers went on strike. In reading this article, though, we see some complex struggles on the left. Unions, the governing left and the far left are in an identity struggle.

Workers went on strike in opposition to the austerity measures and anti-labour reforms implemented by the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) government of President José Zapatero.

via Spain: Ten million workers take part in general strike.

When left wing leaders obey EU neoliberal demands, there will be blowback. This article tracks some of the complexity of how progressive elements are interacting.

Socialist and leftist forces are not immune from the carnage of capitalist crises. The solutions, however, ought to be more progressive than the standard neoliberal tripe bouncing around the world.