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HEALTH

Museums, hotels and bars to reopen in Madrid, Barcelona

Madrid and Barcelona, until now excluded from the loosening of lockdown restrictions in Spain, will be able to reopen museums, hotels and bar terraces from Monday, the government announced on Friday.

Museums, hotels and bars to reopen in Madrid, Barcelona
A cafe in Madrid's Plaza Mayor. Photo: GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

This further easing of the lockdown comes two weeks after the rest of the country was given the same freedoms.

And many areas of the country that have already started to lift restrictions will now be able to take the next step, with the reopening of beaches, swimming pools and cinemas.

These reopenings are still accompanied by strict limits on the number of customers. Spain is one of the most affected countries in the world with 28,628 fatalities according to the Ministry of Health.

The deconfinement of the Madrid and Barcelona regions, the most populated in the country, had been delayed because they were the two areas hardest hit by the pandemic.

These two regions as well as a large part of Castile-Leon (north of Madrid), will move into phase 1 of the four-phase deconfinement programme.

Their museums will be able to reopen, but with only 30 percent of the number of regular visitors, while hotels will have to keep common areas — swimming pools, gyms, lounges — closed to reduce the risk of contagion.

Spain has extended until June 6 the state of emergency which  significantly limits the freedom of movement to fight the epidemic.

“There is still a long way to go and we must maintain social discipline,” said government spokeswoman Maria Jesus Montero.

The left-wing government's management of the crisis has drawn a barrage of criticism from right-wing parties who have denounced its “brutal confinement”, while several hundred protesters have hit the streets demanding “freedom” and the resignation of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

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ECONOMY

Spain’s middle-class youngsters the most likely to end up poor across all EU

Spain leads the ranking of EU countries with the highest risk of young people ending up in poverty as adults, despite coming from families without economic difficulties.

Spain is the fourth EU country with the highest inherited poverty
Spain is EU country with most middle-class young people who end up poor. Photo: Jaime ALEKOS / AFP

Spain is also the fourth EU country with the highest rate of inherited poverty risk, according to Eurostat, the EU Statistical Office.

Data on intergenerational poverty indicates that there is a correlation between the financial situation of the household you grew up in and the risk of being poor when you reach adulthood and in Spain, there is a strong link. 

The latest statistics available from 2019 show that the at-risk-of-poverty rate for the EU was 23 percent among adults aged 25 to 59 who grew up in a poor financial situation at home when they were 14 years old. This is 9.6 percentage points more than those who come from families without financial problems (13.4 percent). 

READ ALSO: Spain’s inflation soars to 29-year high

How the situation in Spain compares with the EU

Spain has become the EU country with the highest risk of poverty among adults who grew up in families with a good financial situation  – 16.6 percent.

This was followed by Latvia with 16 percent and Italy with 15.9 percent.

That statistics also show the countries where it is less likely to be poor after growing up in households without economic difficulties. These include the Czech Republic (5.9 percent), Slovakia (7.9 percent) and Finland (8.5 percent).

The overall poverty rate in the EU decreased by 0.1 percentage points between 2011 (13.5 percent) and 2019 (13.4 percent), but the largest increases were seen in Denmark (1.9 points more), Portugal (1.8 points), the Netherlands (1.7 points) and Spain (1.2 points).  

On the other hand, the biggest decreases in the poverty rate were seen in Croatia (-4 percent), Lithuania (-3.6 percent), Slovakia (-3.5 percent) and Ireland (-3.2 percent).

READ ALSO: Spain’s government feels heat as economic recovery lags

Inherited poverty

The stats revealed that Spain was also the fourth country with the highest rate of inherited poverty risk (30 percent), only behind Bulgaria (40.1 percent), Romania (32.7 percent) and Italy (30.7 percent).

This means that children of poor parents in Spain are also likely to be poor in adulthood. 

The countries with the lowest rate of inherited poverty risk were the Czech Republic (10.2 percent), Denmark (10.3 percent) and Finland (10.5 percent).

The average risk-of-poverty rate for the EU increased by 2.5 percentage points between 2011 (20.5 percent) and 2019 (23 percent), with the largest increases seen in Bulgaria (6 points more), Slovakia and Romania (4.3 points), Italy (4.2 points) and Spain (4.1 points).

The biggest drops were seen in Latvia (-8.5 points), Estonia (-8.0 points) and Croatia (-2.3 points). 

The largest gaps in people at risk of poverty when they reach adulthood were in Bulgaria (27.6 percentage points more among those who belong to families with a poor economic situation as teenagers compared to those who grew up in wealthy households), Romania (17.1), Italy (14.8), Greece (13.5) and Spain (13.4).

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