Thursday, August 27, 2009

To steal or starve?

It’s not surprising really. We all have to eat.

News this week that an increasing number of ordinary people in Spain are stealing food from shops and supermarkets.

With an unemployment rate currently at 18% and countless thousands working shorter hours, why would it be any different?

This new phenomenon is being called ‘robo famelico,’ literally "starving theft."

As Cristina Mateo-Yanguas writes, “the most vulnerable sectors of the population to the economic crisis are currently undocumented immigrants and the jobless whose subsidies will be up shortly.”

What I find astonishing and (even somewhat encouraging) is that there is little supermarkets can do to stop those who shoplift because non-violent theft of goods worth less than 400 euros apparently isn't considered a crime in Spain.

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