We get it, people are bored with Europe. Oh, that crazy character from the Greek Syriza party who labeled himself “anti-bailout” was good copy, and making fun of Europeans’ August-long vacations is always fun. But the daily grind from rising sovereign borrowing costs to rescue negotiations and central bank intervention—how long can a crisis last before people cease to care? Which is why the enterprising journalist will look to locate the economic machinations at the grass-roots level—why Bloomberg ran a pair of stories last month linking the teetering Spanish economy to an end to free condoms for prostitutes and an advertising campaign that chided young Spaniards to rent a room … and stop getting busy in the backseats of their cars.
Okay, so the sex angles have been done (at least for now—we haven’t even scratched the surface of Italy). The logical next step is food, and while we would have preferred something on the rising consumption of bathtub ouzo, The Wall Street Journal has a reasonable substitute:
While Europe’s per-capita coffee consumption remains the highest in the world, demand for less expensive options is growing. This trend has upended coffee markets, where coveted arabica coffee had traded at a hefty premium to its bitter counterpart, robusta, for more than two years.
Cheaper coffee, yes, but are Spaniards cutting out their daily trips to the cafe? Again from The Journal: “Ángel López Castillo, a 67-year-old travel agent, says he still can spare a few euros for his daily ritual. ‘We can drink coffee,’ Mr. López said of his fellow Spaniards. ‘We just can’t buy cars.'”
Which raises some disturbing questions about where the next generation of amorous Spaniards will go seeking privacy, an idea worth tucking away at the rate the European debt crisis is unfolding.