Britain could face further riots like those in summer 2011 due to the economic crisis, the Head of the International Red Cross has warned.
- By Alice Philipson
Yves Daccord said Britain should learn the lessons of the Middle East, where economic uncertainty and a lack of options for young people helped fuel unrest.
“If the economic pressure goes on, it will have a social impact on people and if young people especially don’t see any future then you might be confronted with unrest like in 2011. There is no reason that this unrest will not repeat itself,” Mr Daccord told The World At One.
“In Egypt and Tunisia one of the drivers of the revolution was the price of food and also for a lot of young people, there was no future.
“I would be careful about comparing it with Europe, but we [Europe] can at least learn something from it. When you have a large number of people uneducated, unemployed and with no real options in front of them, you could have a violent situation.”
Mr Daccord also warned there is the prospect of further violence throughout Europe as increasing numbers of people fall into poverty.
He said the Red Cross is having to help more and more people across the continent due to cuts in State services.
Around two million people are now using the Red Cross in Spain alone.
“There are more poor people but the State has less ability to help them socially,” he said.
“[In the past] there has been a social net to take care of it [these problems].
“For the first time we have poor and unemployed people but at the same time the State have to cut their services, which means many more people have to deal with it [by themselves]. “
He added: “Today in Europe, for the first time in the last 20-30 years, there is suddenly no hope and that creates more tension.”
Five people were killed and hundreds of businesses and homes attacked in four days of rioting across England in August 2011.