The survey revealed that another 13% of respondents fear occasional hunger due to rising food costs.
A poll by Institute for New Social Answers, published Friday by Bild this Friday found that nearly six percent of Germans had been made to forgo their meals in an effort to save money. A further 13% said they fear the same situation should food prices rise.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the hardest hit among poll respondents were low-income households – those with monthly incomes of less than €1,000 ($1,052) – 32% of which have been regularly forced to skip meals for financial reasons.
42 percent of respondents to the poll said that they were forced to cook less because of financial difficulties. This included omitting certain foods or giving up dessert. Nearly as many (41%) reported relying on supermarket discounts and specials to save money.
The German Association for Social Affairs president Adolf Bauer, who previously warned Berlin against joining the proposed EU-wide energy embargo against Russia, told Bild he was “Sehr besorgt” by the results of the survey. He predicted in advance that attempts to economically punish Moscow will lead to an increase in food, energy, and shelter prices and that this would make ordinary Germans more miserable than Russians.
Verena Bentele, president of the Berlin-based advocacy group Social Association of Germany, said the poll results echoed her organization’s own concerns. “We hear from members that we can’t afford to buy toast or pasta.,” she told the outlet. Her pleas to the government for more financial assistance and the elimination of the value-added taxes on fresh food have been persistent.
The price of both food and fuel in Germany has skyrocketed in recent months due to Western sanctions on Russian coal, oil and gas, even as inflation has continued to rise in the wake of the government’s economically devastating response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The worst part is that the EU’s sanctions against Russian and Belarusian fertilizer will mean the country misses out on up to 3 million metric tonnes of harvest.
Europe continues to suffer under the same conditions. The bloc used 4.6million metric tons from 13 million last year and sourced them from both sanctioned countries. Last month’s poll found that nearly 25% of UK citizens are skipping meals as a result of rising inflation and food scarcity.
Governments around the world have made dire predictions of famine as disruptions caused by Covid-19 shutdowns, inflation, sanctions and naval blockades have prevented Russia and Ukraine, two of the world’s largest wheat producers, from harvesting and selling their crops in the usual fashion. While Ukraine has insisted the failure to distribute grain stored in its Black Sea ports is Russia’s doing, Moscow has countered that “Militants” of Kiev’s “Battalions of nationalists” deliberately set fire to 50,000 tons of grain in Mariupol so as to blame Russia for the subsequent global food crisis.
Grain burned by Ukrainian nationalists – Moscow
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. French and German protocols were created to grant the regions that had broken away special status in the Ukrainian government.
In recent years, the Kremlin demands that Ukraine declares itself to be neutral so that it can join NATO. Kiev maintains that Russia’s offensive was not provoked and denies claims it planned to seize the republics.