The woman, 33, said that she had once worked at the post office but that her unemployment benefits had run out and she was living now on 400 euros a month, about $520. She was squatting with some friends in a building that still had water and electricity, while collecting “a little of everything” from the garbage after stores closed and the streets were dark and quiet.
Such survival tactics are becoming increasingly commonplace here, with an unemployment rate over 50 percent among young people and more and more households having adults without jobs. So pervasive is the problem of scavenging that one Spanish city has resorted to installing locks on supermarket trash bins as a public health precaution.
The European Central Bank declined to comment on a report that it had recommended that senior bondholders should take losses in the event of a restructuring of Spanish bank debt.
A report in the Wall Street Journal today said ECB President Mario Draghi advocated imposing losses on senior bondholders issued by “the most severely damaged” Spanish savings banks at a meeting of European Union finance ministers on July 9.