poverty in Mallorca 2

Poverty in Mallorca, 2




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Video: The Coronavirus and Poverty, 2



Palma’s sunny winters normally attract plenty of tourists. But there are just a handful of people on these beaches. The pandemic has turned life on the island upside-down.

Many locals are despairing. And the somber mood is rubbing off on the few visitors that are here.

Visitor: “It’s like a ghost town, at least here in Palma de Mallorca.”

The big hotels are nearly empty. Tourism has come to a standstill.

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People are angry. And there are demonstrations on the streets. Unemployment is at a record high. Mary are on the brink of ruin, and say the government has abandoned them.

Venessa Ruiz, Protester: “We need something to eat. We have to pay our bills, but no one is helping us. We’re fed up; tired of being humiliated and lied to.”

Scenes like this have become commonplace in Palma. Lines of people waiting patiently at a food bank, like this one, run by the Tardor Aid Organization.

Before the coronavirus crisis, Tardo distributed about two-hundred (200) meals a day; now it’s about two-thousand (2,000). The government subsidy for people who’ve had their hours cut or lost their jobs is rarely enough to keep people afloat.

Iria Noceda and her partner are also here. She lost her job working in a hotel.

Iria Noceda, Unemployed: “I’m not ashamed to be here; so many of us have to stand in lines like this. I just find it sad to have to ask for food.”

Tony Bauza runs the Tardor Aid Organization. It is financed solely by private donations. He says the crisis threatens to stretch the social fabric on the island to breaking point.

Tony Bauza, Tardor Aid Organization: “We used to mainly serve people who had long been living on the edge of society for a long time. But now we are seeing families with children, who have been out of work since last summer.”

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The aid organization also runs shelters. One of them is just a few blocks away, which has beds for up to eighty (80) people.

More and more locals find themselves trapped in a downward spiral. First they lose their jobs. And then their homes.

Mallorca has a population of one million. A third are now living in poverty.

Daniel Chavez is originally from Argentina. He is now sharing a single room with his wife and three children. Before the crisis, they had an apartment, and he and his wife worked in a hotel.

Daniel Chavez, Unemployed: “We both had jobs, and were doing really well. But suddenly the virus came and things began to go downhill.”

The people of Mallorca have been hit hard.

Activist Joan Manuel Segura is heading a demonstration in front of an apartment building. They want to prevent an eviction.

The landlord is trying to force Mohammad El Marufi, who is from Morocco, to move out because he is behind on the rent.

Despite the pandemic, there are about ten evictions in Palma every week.

The demonstrations are only manage to halt a handful of evictions, and usually it’s just a temporary reprieve.

Joan Segura, “Stop Evictions Movement”: “We are seeing more and more evictions in rental apartments. Families who are squatting in apartments out of sheer desperation are also being thrown out.

Mohammad El Marufi is lucky: the demonstration has been large enough to attract attention. The eviction has been halted, at least for now.

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The angry is growing here. Locals say state aid have been too little, too late. Many are demanding that the regional government step down.

Iago Negueruela, Balearic Island Tourism Minister: “It’s no surprise that people are protesting. We understand that. But at the same time our main priority is to improve the health situation.

We need to relieve the pressure on our hospitals — people’s lives are at stake.”

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As the crisis deepens, many people on the island are showing solidarity. Restaurant owners are donating meals for people in need. Jose Mariano Burgos is also helping, even though his restaurant is also on the brink.

So far, he has only received 1,500 euros in subsidies, just a drop in the bucket compared to what he needs.

Jose Mariano Burgos, Restaurant Owner: “We want to help the people who are worse off than we are. This is going to be our worst year ever. Who knows if the government is all talk — or if they are finally going to take action. The situation here is really terrible.”

At mid-day, the meals are ready: hot chocolate, a tortilla and a sandwich. The mood is subdued. People know another tough year lies ahead for Mallorca. Right now, there’s no telling when the tourist will return.

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11. Eleventh Question. In 2020, the city of Palma changed drastically. True or false? What was Palma like before 2020?

12. Twelfth Q. Describe Palma in 2021. Why has it changed? How did it change?

13. Thirteenth Q. Is the Tardor Aid Organization a restaurant? What does it do? What happens there?

Fourteenth. Iria Noceda and Daniel Chavez are very content and satisfied with their lives. Is this right or wrong? What had happened to them?

Fifteenth. In Palma, does everyone live in their own house? What has happened to some residents of the city? Do others try to help them?

Sixteenth. Are the people of Palma satisfied with the government? What does the government say?

Seventeenth. Do all restaurants function normally? Do they only cook and sell meals to customers?


V. Monday. The situation in my city and country is normal. Yes or no?

W. Tuesday. Have some or many people suffered in 2020? What has happened to them?

X. Wednesday. Many people have protested against government policy and inappropriate action. True or false?

Y. Thursday. What might happen in the future?

Z. Friday. What is the solution to this situation?

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