Crushed by an austerity squeeze and towering unemployment, millions of Europeans joined the ranks of the newly poor in 2012 in a crisis that showed no mercy for the old, women or children.
An arc of misery spread pitilessly across southern Europe’s middle classes, engulfing bailed-out nations Greece and Portugal and tottering heavyweights such as the eurozone’s number four economy, Spain, and number three, Italy.
Spain is displaying all the signs of a major social crisis, with one in four workers unemployed, an unprecedented austerity squeeze by the state, cuts to education and healthcare, and thousands of indebted families thrown out of their homes and into the streets.
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