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article imageBoris Johnson finds Spanish family sleeping rough in London

By Anne Sewell     Sep 19, 2013 in World
London - London's outspoken mayor, Boris Johnson, says that he was shocked to recently discover a Spanish family, sleeping rough in the city. He says this shows a complete failure of the euro project.
Johnson told the UK's Institute of Directors conference, "I was going along the canal the other day on my bike, and I came across a family from Spain. I’d never seen in all my time as mayor a Spanish family destitute and homeless in London before."
"They have every right to come and seek work but it brought home the disaster of the euro."
"The guy was from Málaga. He was in construction. He had absolutely lost hope of finding anything."
"I felt it was a real tragedy," the mayor said, according to the Telegraph newspaper.
"The guy could barely speak English. You wouldn't have had that ten years ago before the euro began. The politicians of Europe do not have the answer," he continued.
“So when Barroso [the President of the European Commission] tells us we are going to go back to World War One unless we go full tilt to the European Union, I have to say they need to think again. This whole euro project has been a real disaster for the union and it will take a very, very long time to sort out.”
According to the Telegraph in 2012, more than 730 people from western Europe slept rough in London, which more than doubles the figures in 2010 when the euro crisis began. The figure includes 62 people from Spain, 131 from Portugal, 150 from Ireland and 15 from Greece. Homeless Italians tripled from 41 to 112.
During the same period the number of British people sleeping in the streets of the capital has increased from 1700 to 2923, while the number of eastern Europeans has increased from 845 to 1772.
Johnson has been the Tory Mayor of London since 2008 and has a habit of making headlines for his colorful turns of expression.
Johnson also claimed at the conference that the British economy has had its "Costa Concordia moment" saying:
"It's fair to say that the UK economy has finally reached its Costa Concordia moment."
"Because after two-and-half years of parbuckling the labour is complete and the rotation has been accomplished and though the damage is still, I think, manifest and the caissons have not yet been entirely drained of debt, I think you would agree that the keel is off the rocks and at last we can feel motion, relief."
Continuing on a nautical theme, he said he had "no inclination to hand back the wheel to the people who were on the bridge when it ran aground", and instead we should "continue on the course we have set".
More about United Kingdom, England, London, Boris Johnson, Mayor
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