Poverty 'could trigger fresh riots'

London riots burning buildingRising levels of poverty and scarce job prospects for young people could lead to fresh unrest on British streets, the head of the International Red Cross has warned.

Yves Daccord said worsening economic and social conditions could see a repeat of the summer riots of 2011.

The director general of the International Committee of the Red Cross warned that tensions across Europe were rising and Britain could not be immune.

While the continent has suffered from poverty in the past, the situation now is being exacerbated as austerity policies mean that state support for those on low incomes is being cut back.

"When you have large numbers of young people - educated, unemployed - and at the same time not real options in front of them, yes, you could have absolutely a violent situation," he told BBC Radio 4's The World At One.

"We could be confronted with a large situation of unrest. Absolutely. We will be confronted with tensions and problems, we have seen that already in a country like Spain.

"We have seen that also - even though the situation was different - in the unrest in London in 2011.

"In Europe - and the UK is not apart from Europe - if the economic pressure on people goes on, yes, it will have a social impact on people.

"If young people especially don't see any future, any options, you might be confronted with unrest like in 2011.

"There is no reason why this unrest will not repeat itself."
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