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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Inflation in Europe troubles middle classes, governments


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Europe is grappling with high inflation. Prices have skyrocketed the most in eleven years, and are currently at a record 8.9%. All the 19 countries of the Euro-zone are facing similar troubles. While other countries have recorded even higher prices. Eastern Europe’s Estonia is the worst-hit with an inflation rate of 23%.

As a result, the European middle classes are dissatisfied and angry with their governments. Many incidents of protests on roads have also been reported and hence, the governments are anxious. In Britain, the biggest issue, as the Prime Minister election approaches, is price-rise only. In France, President Emmanuel Macron is facing the wrath of his people due to inflation as well.

On the other hand, in Western Europe, comparatively rich nations like Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy, are taking a number of steps in order to curb the augmenting prices. Stores have been opened in order to provide people with goods of daily use at lower prices and therefore, such stores are attracting a lot of customers.

As per a report of the European Commission, released in August, 58% of the European youth, who are aged 30 years at maximum, are getting more distressed and dissatisfied by the day, because of the lack of jobs and increasing prices. Not only the youth belonging in the less developed countries in eastern Europe, but even the youth from the developed nations of western Europe, are equally angry. The period following the COVID-19 pandemic is even worse than earlier times.

At this point, the situation doesn’t seem to be getting better any time soon. In fact, things are projected to worsen during the upcoming winter season. Electricity prices are already soaring high. In Germany, each megawatt costs 80 thousand rupees, and in France, 87 thousand rupees. As compared to the last year, both the countries have recorded more than 10% rise in electricity prices. In Britain, prices are expected to increase 80% in October.

If we look at Poland, the inflation rate has risen to record 18% in the last two decades. And here, Ukrainian refugees are being considered to be the reason behind price-rise. More than 3 lakh refugees are currently living in Poland’s capital, Warsaw. On the other hand, locals can now be seen protesting against the coming of around 1 lakh Ukrainian refugees in the city of Rzeszow.

Sonakshi Datta
Sonakshi Datta
Journalist who wants to cover the truth which others look the other way from.

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