Passing through London, the unhealthy effects of the recession is apparent. For those who have visited the English capital over the years, the metamorphosis it’s undergoing at the moment, no thanks to the economic crisis, is rather dramatic, considering its relative resistance to change.
Consider the following:
- Britain is in its worse-ever recession in modern history.
- There are close to 2 million unemployed today.
- Bank interest-rates are at its lowest ever in 300 years, at 1.5%, and expected to hit near-zero soon.
- House prices have dropped 15% over the last year.
- The pound (the ‘sterling’ currency) has weakened to almost parity with the Euro.
So if you walk through the streets of London (listen to the original Ralph McTell hit here), one can see how the economic situation has affected London. Gone are the trademark stores like Woolworth’s, Virgin Record Stores, Sharper Image, Barratt’s shoes and Whittard’s tea stores. Closing down sales are widespread and more stores are expected to fold up real soon. This does not mean the streets are empty..on the contrary, hordes of Europeans have descended into London, taking advantage of the weak pound.
The prognosis doesn’t look too good presently, with possible complications imminent. The indomitable British spirit looks unlikely to resuscitate the ill economy..or will it?