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inflation hits Britain and Germany, Spain remembers oil spill

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As every day, franceinfo evening news takes a tour of the news broadcast by European TV channels. It’s Eurozapping on Monday 15 November.

In England, the BBC is interested in inflation, which affects precarious families. In Bristol, Samuel lives alone with his two children on the 15th floor of this building. This guard is on sick leave without financial assistance. After all the bills are paid, she only has €59 left a week to buy food and clothe her sons: “I withdraw money so I know I can’t go over this budget. If I haven’t used it all, I put it back in the bank”. In the UK, inflation has been at 10% since September. More and more Britons find themselves in a situation of poverty, like Samuel, whose boiler is switched off because he knows he won’t be able to pay the energy bill.

Inflation and rising wages are also current in Germany. Workers at a pasta factory have been on strike for four weeks demanding higher wages. Currently paid at the minimum wage, i.e. €12.51 an hour, they are asking for an increase of one euro this year and one euro next year. Request currently denied by the company. “We are aware that the company faces increases in electricity and commodity prices. But we also have to pay our rent.”, explains an employee. The situation of this factory is not isolated in Germany. Several trade unions have started warning strikes, while negotiations with employers about wage increases are progressing.

Spain, for its part, 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 tons of fuel oil escaped and fouled almost 3,000 km of coastline. Fuel oil stones ended up in Portugal, on the Aquitaine coast and even in Brittany with a lasting ecological impact. “Five years later, most ecosystems were in a relatively acceptable state”, recalls Fins Eirexas from the ecological association in Galicia. After a long series of trials, the Spanish judge sentenced the captain of Prestige to two years in prison. The ship’s owner and insurance company had to pay 1.6 billion euros to the Spanish state.

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