Food banks crisis in Europe

To anyone who has been following the conflict in the Ukraine from the coup through to the callous and wanton butchery of Donbass citizens of all ages, onto the totally necessary Special Military Operation by Russia to save remaining lives of the Donbass peoples, it has been clear that every move of Zelensky and the other fascist leaders that preceded him was decided and dictated by US imperialism and was carried out for only their interests.  In articles and analysis of so many imperialist crimes over so many years, LALKAR writers have often pointed to one specific quote from Mao to describe and explain the stupidity and eventual failure of imperialist aggression.  “Imperialism lifts a rock only to drop it on its own feet!” This succinct truism is perfect also to describe the financially suicidal use of anti-Russia sanctions by European countries.  They are shunning cheap and plentiful gas/oil supplies when they need them most and smashing their own economies with measures that are having little effect on Russia.  They are pouring money and weapons into the NATO war on Russia through their Ukrainian proxy in the misguided hope that somehow by prolonging the misery, Russia will be wrecked, or someone (anyone!) will overthrow President Putin so that the USA can get back to its heyday of grabbing the wealth of what had been the USSR just after the collapse/surrender. This is not going to happen.  Russians (just like China actually) have more reasons than most to be against war, but they also remember what happens when you don’t stand up to fascism and imperialist brigandage. 

When the Russian oligarchs in the imperialist dominated countries were sequestrated and turned into paupers overnight, the imperialists thought they were getting easy wealth, but these oligarchs weren’t the natural supporters of President Putin and Russia, just the opposite, and the stupid imperialists took away any power that these, could-have-been, traitors to Russia had.  Putin has the highest ratings he has ever had in Russia now and a country has become firmly locked into what they clearly see as a sacred duty.  When all the Western companies withdrew from Russia, hoping to see it collapse without their hands on its financial throat, they merely made way for Russian (loyal) enterprises to take over and fill in the gaps created.  Imperialism has assisted Russia to be stronger in its resolve to resist and to seek to strengthen its trade etc. with non-imperialist countries around the world.

Meanwhile, in the US, the oil barons are hoping to replace the Russian gas/oil that is missing from Europe by shipping tanker load after tanker load across the Atlantic Ocean or straight from Syria where they are still purloining it in massive quantities.  The US weapons companies are looking for fabulous profits from all of Europe now that they have given large parts of their own arsenals to the Ukraine Nazis.  All of this will help leave European national coffers, Britain’s included, destitute as a result of the much higher prices demanded by the US, while it is also unlikely that the US can supply enough fuel or weapons to satisfy demand.  So, Europe suffers to protect US hegemony, but the closer Europe comes to disaster the more it will drag its US master under the waves with it.  The analogy with the lifter of the rock is becoming more obvious to more people!

Remember when the Western press used to gleefully tell us about Soviet bread-queues? The working people of Europe are now awash with food banks!

In Britain there are very few towns that don’t have at least one food bank and they exist in every city.

In Germany the surging food and fuel prices mean millions more people are struggling to make ends meet, forcing many food banks to shut their doors to thousands of new applicants. Over a third of Germany’s 962 food banks have stopped taking new applicants beyond the 2 million they were already helping, meaning some people having little or no answer to starving. It is the first time many have taken such a drastic step, after demand rose more than 50% this year for access to the fruit, vegetables, bread and other essentials they collect from shops and donors. The chair of one food bank in Friedberg, which provides a basket of supplies every two weeks to 700 families, explained ‘we have a total of 120 baskets to give, there is only so much our volunteers can do’.

Over a quarter of the German population have now entered into ‘fuel poverty’ — defined as spending more than 10% of income on energy — up from 14.5% last year, according to the country’s council of economic experts.

More than a fifth of the EU population was already unable to heat their home sufficiently last year, before the latest price surge, according to the latest data from Eurostat, the EU statistics agency.

Charities from Spain to Latvia have reported 20 to 30 per cent higher demand than last year and expect a further increase this winter. While in Bulgaria, one of the poorest countries in the EU, there was a three-quarters jump between September and October in people using the national food bank, according to the country’s food bank director. Right across Europe milk prices have soared 43% in the past year, while pork costs 55% more and Japonica rice has risen by 68%. In central and eastern Europe, the cost of staples has increased even more sharply. In Hungary, bread prices have risen by 80% over the past year. 

In the Netherlands food banks have responded to the surge in inflation by increasing the limit on disposable income people can have to qualify as members to €300 per month but they say that they are still expecting a 20 per cent rise in demand this winter.

Europe is one of the richest regions in the world. And yet over 96 million people in the EU (roughly 22% of the total EU population) are at risk of poverty or social exclusion. For some households, even affording nutritious food can be a challenge, which can have serious health and social consequences. This is the reality of EU imperialism which in turn is tied to and subservient to US imperialism. Only the standing up of European workers against their own leaders, against US imperialism and against the media lies that paint Ukraine and the puppet Zelensky as the injured party at the hands of bullying, ‘imperialist’ Russia.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.