Corona is leaving a trail of economic and social devastation on the Spanish holiday island of Mallorca. Single mothers slide into poverty – and become increasingly desperate.
The media and aid organizations complain that the corona crisis is bringing a lot of misery to the fore on the holiday island and producing misery prostitution.
The y are therefore often single mothers who went to work for the first time or after a long time because they lost their job as waitress or cleaning lady in the wake of the pandemic and are desperate. “For many, returning or entering prostitution is the only way to support their families,” explain Inmaculada Mas Nadal and Rafa Campos from the organization Doctors of the World of the German Press Agency.
More and more “newbies” on the streets
Last year, 1,168 people were taken care of who were engaged in prostitution in Mallorca and the other Balearic Islands, which takes place in Spain in a legal gray area. Of these, 439 people were looked after for the first time. Magdalena Alomar from the non-profit organization Casal Petit confirms that there are more and more “newcomers” due to the crisis.
The Corona crisis has plunged many single mothers into economic hardship. (Source: Mar Granel / dpa)
The Moroccan told the regional newspaper “Última Hora” that she had lost her job as a kitchen helper in a restaurant in the course of the crisis. She is new to the profession. She is hiding the new job from her family. “I have to send money to my mother and my siblings. We are poor.”
“Nobody has come since Friday”
Not much money is being made at the moment. Leila spoke to the journalist on the last Sunday in January. “Nobody has come since Friday.” No wonder that the “full service” here in the center of Palma, not far from the posh shopping street Passeig del Born, is already available for 15 euros, as Jaume Perelló from Casal Petit explains. According to “Última Hora”, most women stand their legs in their stomachs for twelve hours every day – and still get an income of only around one hundred euros a week.
The pimps also put much more pressure on women during the crisis, it is said.
The number of guests on the island fell by 90 percent last year. (Source: Zuma Wire / imago images)
At Plaça Sant Antoni, most women assure the media that they don’t have a pimp. Perelló knows, however, that this is not always the case and that some of the smugglers who brought them to Spain are in the chalk with up to 7,000 euros.
The refore they would have to “accept any price”. Physical and psychological violence is part of everyday life. Catalina Bagur from the Red Cross in Mallorca also speaks of an “extreme emergency” for women.
80 percent single mothers
The weakest of the weak are affected. According to doctors of the world, two thirds of the prostitutes cared for by the organization have families to look after. And most of them, around 80 percent, are single mothers. Most are immigrants from countries such as Colombia, Romania and Morocco.
But there are also Mallorcan women who, before the pandemic, often had a job as a cleaning lady, child or senior carer, but no employment contract and could therefore easily be put outside the door. You have no right to short-time work or unemployment benefits. Like María, who escaped the line years ago, had a living as a cleaning lady and now ended up on the street again at 53. “I had no alternative,” she says.
The number of vacationers fell by almost 90 percent in 2020, tourists currently have to be looked for with a magnifying glass on the Ballermann. Restaurants and bars are closed at least until the beginning of March. “
The slow return to normal will not begin for many months,” said the respected doctor Joan March of the Última Hora newspaper.
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