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'We can't manage anymore': Spain's 'hunger queues' lengthen as inflation soars

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Hugo Ramirez never thought that one day he would have to turn to food aid. After all, he has a permanent job in the construction industry.But record inflation has pushed the bricklayer to take the plunge: otherwise, it would be impossible to make ends meet."We see prices going up every week, even on basic products...

We can't manage it anymore," says the 44-year-old, standing in front of pallets of fruit and vegetables at the foot of a large brick building in the south of Madrid.Every Saturday, he comes to collect food from an association created during the pandemic in the working-class neighbourhood of Aluche to help residents in difficulty."I earn €1,200 a month and my wife €600" for a part-time job as a home help. "But we have three children", explains Hugo, originally from Venezuela. "Once we have paid the €800 in rent and the €300 in various charges, we don't have much left."e Every weekend, thousands of people like Hugo queue up at various places in the Spanish capital to get food.

Back at the start of the pandemic, Euronews' Spanish service reported on the so-called "hunger queues" springing up across Madrid.

Since then, the phenomenon has been compounded in recent months by soaring inflation."Every week we see new families in need, especially since the war in Ukraine," Raul Calzado, a volunteer with the Mutual Aid Network of Aluche (Rama), told AFP.

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