Spanish Archbishop Warns of Social Collapse Over Euro Debt Crisis

Image: Spanish Archbishop Warns of Social Collapse Over Euro Debt Crisis People enter an unemployment registry office in Madrid, Spain on May 6.

Monday, 13 May 2013 05:57 PM

By Greg Richter

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A Spanish archbishop says "whole political systems" could be brought down unless the Eurozone changes direction regarding its current debt crisis.

"It is very dangerous," Braulio Rodriguez, the Archbishop of Toledo, told The Telegraph. "Unemployment has reached tremendous levels and austerity cuts don't seem to be producing results."

Rodriguez said "deep unease" penetrates society, not only in Spain, but across southern Europe.

"We have to give people some hope or this is going to foment conflict and mutual hatred," he said.

The Telegraph noted that Catholic bishops have avoided politics or criticism of EU economic policy. But Rodriguez said the current situation cannot continue.

Spanish unemployment is at 27 percent, despite a large number of young people and immigrants leaving the country to find work. The rate of youth unemployment is 64 percent.

Spain has been calmer than Greece in the face of crises, avoiding street clashes seen there. But a poll shows that 87 percent have lost confidence in in premier Mariano Rajoy, and other institutions are not far behind.

Rodriguez said the current crisis is worse than the recession of the mid-'90s.

The prime minister is hoping for a late-year recovery, but says that jobs still won't return before 2016. And at that point young people may have lost hope.

Rodriguez blames the debt crisis on a "moral disarmament" he said has filled the last 25 years, what he describes as a "get-rich-quick" culture of "stupid consumption" and "deranged indebtment." Children were raised on self-gratification, he said.

"This is common to the whole of Western Europe," he said. "It goes back to the core issues of moral philosophy, of what we are as human beings. It is here that we must search for a way out of the impasse."

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