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Thousands of people protest in Portugal over the country’s rising living costs

Thousands of people protest in Portugal over the country’s rising living costs

Thousands of people protest in Portugal over the country’s rising living costs

Thousands of people protest in Portugal over the country’s rising living costs

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  • People demand improved living conditions.
  • Portugal is one of Western Europe’s poorest countries.
  • More than 50% of workers earned less than 1,000 euros ($1,054.60) per month last year.
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Thousands of people went to the streets of Lisbon on Saturday to demand improved living conditions at a time when high inflation is making it even more difficult for them to make ends meet.

Portugal is one of Western Europe’s poorest countries, with government data indicating more than 50% of workers earned less than 1,000 euros ($1,054.60) per month last year. The minimum monthly wage is 760 euros.

Housing prices in Portugal soared 18.7% in 2022, the highest increase in three decades, and rents rose dramatically as well, owing in part to a speculative property bubble.

According to research conducted by insurance brokers CIA Landlords, Lisbon is the world’s third-least sustainable city to reside in because of low incomes and expensive rents. The problem has been compounded by Portugal’s 8.3% inflation rate.

Fair Living

Vitor David, a 26-year-old programmer, stated during the protest organized by the ‘Fair Living’ campaign that he would like to come back to Lisbon one day but had to live further out due to the high cost of renting in the city.

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It comes to a point in our lives that we have no hope,” he said, adding that he had already pondered moving to a wealthier European country. “It’s very hard.”

Official data shows around 20% of Portuguese live abroad.

“We are here so our voice is heard,” said Jose Reis, who recently graduated from university but is still unemployed.

The ‘Fair Life’ movement, which was created by people who live in Lisbon’s poorer outskirts, says those who were already the most vulnerable before inflation soared were the ones being the hardest hit by the ongoing cost of living crisis.

They want greater wages, a price restriction on necessities, and government action on housing.

Portugal announced a hefty package of housing-related measures last week, but rights groups said the proposals would be meaningless if authorities continued to promote other policies aimed at attracting wealthy foreigners to the country, such as the Digital Nomads Visa, which was introduced in October.

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