Page last updated at 16:18 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009

Cruncharama: Friedrich Ebert Oberschule

Schools around the world are working with BBC World Class and their partners, The British Council, to share their opinions on the credit crunch in the build-up to the G20 London Summit.

Students from Friedrich Ebert Oberschule in Berlin, Germany have been answering the questions.

How has the global financial crisis changed your life?

My family is having problems selling our apartment in Sicily. We owned the apartment until 2000 but now we need to sell it to pay other bills. It is very difficult to find someone who is interested and able to pay the whole price.

The global financial crisis has not changed my life yet. But BMW, where my father works, had to fire a lot of people and is not able to give them their normal wages.

Some of our friends have had to move out of the flats they have lived in for years, because they have less money to spend.

The global financial crisis has not really changed my life but I think the problems will come later. There are some little changes. For examples prices are getting higher and higher and, for some people, it's difficult to afford things.

The global financial crisis has not really affected me by now, but I know that my parents are really worried about their future and their jobs, because many people lose their job every day.

How do you think that the global financial crisis will affect your opportunities in the future?

Even though we don't have concrete ideas about how the financial crisis will change our lives, we are concerned because there is a lot of suspense about it.

My mother designs jewellery and is about to open a shop, so the crisis could hamper the business. You already notice that people refuse to spend money on more than the bare necessities.

My father is self-employed in the entertainment business, so it might be difficult for him to earn enough money in future.

It will be harder to find an apprenticeship or job. Plus, tuition fees are expensive as well.

In the global financial crisis people will lose their jobs because businesses can't afford them. I think it will be very hard to find a good job. Some businesses replace people with machines.

I guess that young people study more because they know that it's difficult to get a job.

We think that the financial crisis will affect our lives in many ways, because things like rent, petrol or even food might get more and more expensive and wages will get lower. Furthermore, it could be harder for young people to get support for their education.

If the G20 leaders visited you to find out how young people and children are affected by the global financial crisis, what would you show them and who would you introduce them to?

If the global leaders visited me, I would show them the Alexander Square in Berlin because you can often see teenagers who have no real life and who take drugs and always drink alcohol. It's very sad and I think they are not stupid, I think their problem is that they are not motivated and don't see any future.

We would show the G20 the growth in the number of homeless people and beggars in the Berlin tubes and on the streets. Every second station one beggar or homeless person gets on the underground to sell newspapers or play music with the hope to getting something to eat or a little money. For the most part they are young people.

We would introduce the G20 to the people who need welfare. Every third child in Berlin lives below the poverty line. Too many parents don't know how to put the food on the table and rely on social institutions. We don't think that these people can't cope with less, they already have nothing.

I would show them districts like Neukölln and Kreuzberg because they have the highest crime rates and young people have no future there because no one cares about education.

We would show them the poverty in some areas of Berlin and the children who have no perspective for their future, who don't go to school, steal and maybe even take drugs.

Here in Berlin, there are some specific districts where many young criminals live who are really violent. That shows that these people are desperate and have no real future, so this fact is an example to be shown to the politicians.

How do you think the G20 leaders can help people with money problems where you live?

The G20 leaders can help people by trying to get jobs for everybody who has lost their job or needs one. The main concern is that they have a little money to live on.

It would be good if the G20 leaders reduced the costs for the government and spent the money on businesses. Then they can sell the machines and give people jobs because for some people it's hard to feed their own family.

It would not be a good idea if they gave the money to the people directly. It sounds ugly but I think that a lot of people cannot handle money so I think the idea with the jobs and lower taxes would be better.

They cannot just give people money but they could show them an alternative to get out of the circle of poverty and despair.

The G20 should help create more institutions like the "Arche" in Berlin, which helps poor people who can't support themselves properly.

The G20 should try to create new jobs. Of course it is not easy to solve these problems but the G20 has to take action for poor people's needs.

What would you ask the G20 leaders about the global financial crisis and what do you want them to do at the London summit?

Maybe I would ask them what their goals are for the future and what's important to them. Another question might be: are they sorry for other people or are they not interested in people's lives?

I would ask them what they want to do to end this problem and I would want them to cut the taxes.

We would ask them how they get along with the fact that they make other people poor and if they aren't able to think of a better way of doing their jobs and making money - they don't have to exploit innocent people just to get rich or something. We all know money isn't everything and doesn't make you happy!

I would ask them if they take the people's money problems seriously.



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