worries about household debt in Europe

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In front of an ATM on the first day of deconfinement, in Lyon, May 11. JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK / AFP

Fifteen euros a cut, from friends of friends or former clients. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 epidemic, Stéphane has been practicing his hairdressing profession as best he can, at home or at home – ” resourcefulness “. His contract in a Paris salon was to be renewed in March. It was not. “Financially, it gets complicated”, he confides.

In April, he drew on his Livret A to pay part of the credit – 700 euros per month – which he contracted five years ago to buy a two-room apartment near the Porte de Pantin. In June, this young forty-something will still hold. “But if I can’t find a job before summer, I won’t be able to pay anymore,” he murmurs, modestly. Before adding, anxious: “Even if that is confusing, who is crazy enough to hire today? “

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Catherine, however, resolved to solicit her parents. “The rent is fine, but the car loan is a bit tight”, says the thirties. The restaurant where she works, near Lyon, put her on partial unemployment. “It’s a relief, but without the tips and the extras, I can’t do it any more. “ She hopes to be able to reschedule her repayment deadlines with her credit organization. Meanwhile, his father lends him money: “I had to swallow my pride to confide my problems to him. If the restaurant doesn’t reopen quickly, I won’t be far from the abyss. “

“It’s still calm before the storm”

How many are there, like Catherine and Stéphane, to worry a little more at the end of each month? Is it a concern that you won’t be able to repay the bank with a heavy heart asking for the help of a loved one?

“People like them, on the wire, call us every day, and they are more and more since the end of confinement [le 11 mai], underlines Pauline Dujardin, federal jurist within Croesus, the network of associations supporting people in financial difficulty. Many are able to cope with partial unemployment. But if the feared wave of layoffs continues, the fall will be very hard. “ Eric Dor, an economist at the Ieseg School of Management, shares the same concerns. “ It’s still calm before the storm, he says. If the recovery is not there, there will be a surge in faults, first among companies, then within households. “

To support tenants, many states, such as Spain, the United Kingdom and Germany, have set up aid or deferral funds rents

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