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COVID-19 exacerbates Spanish financial precarity

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COVID-19 exacerbates Spanish financial precarity

Nearly half of people surveyed in Spain report that their financial situation is worse now than three months ago, and a similar proportion expect the situation to get worse in the future. Spain also reports above EU average job loss as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, with 31% losing jobs or contracts, either permanently or temporarily, and 20% indicating that they fear losing their job over the next three months.

These findings are among the first results from Eurofound’s Living, working and COVID-19 online survey. The survey reveals a Europe grappling to respond to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. People across the EU are reporting very low levels of trust in some institutions, with indications that overall trust in the EU has now dipped below that of national governments, something which is unprecedented in at least the past 15 years. The survey had over 85,000 respondents in the first month alone; 3,064 of which were from Spain.

The survey shows that the labour market impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt in households across Spain, with one in ten Spanish respondents (11%) unable to pay their rent or their mortgage on time. This was more common among self-employed without employees (18%) and unemployed people (23%). In total, 7% of respondents in Spain thought it was likely that they would have to leave their accommodation in the next few months because they could no longer afford it.

Speaking about the Spanish findings, Juan Menéndez-Valdés, Eurofound Executive Director, said “COVID-19 is having major implications on people’s lives right across Europe. In Spain we can see that people are in a particularly difficult financial situation - especially those who are unemployed, self-employed or under 35 - this will have significant societal ramifications, and can already be seen in low levels of optimism for the future, and concerningly low levels of trust in the national government and the EU.”

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James Higgins

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