Renting a one-bedroom apartment in Lisbon costs a massive 63% of the average resident’s wage. Faced with one of Europe’s worst housing markets, Portugal’s government has proposed to subsidize rents — but critics say it’s another handout to landlords.
Joana Ramiro is a journalist, writer, broadcaster, and political commentator based in London.
Today Portugal votes in snap elections, as prime minister António Costa seeks to end his center-left government’s reliance on far-left parties. If he succeeds, it will commit Portugal even further to a failed low-wage, low-investment model.
Portugal has banned employers from making nonemergency contact with staff outside of working hours. The “right to disconnect” is a good idea — but more protection is needed for precarious workers who aren’t on fixed schedules.
Portugal Is the World’s Most Vaccinated Country Because Its Population Trusts Its Free Health Care System
Portugal has the world’s highest COVID-19 vaccination rate, with 85 percent of the population fully vaccinated. Its success drew on a strong public information campaign — but it couldn’t have done it without a free national health care system that has won massive popular trust.
After the Carnation Revolution overthrew the dictatorship in 1974, Portugal boasted over four decades with no fascist presence in parliament. But with a far-right anti-migrant candidate likely to be runner-up in today’s presidential election, a hard-won anti-fascist consensus is beginning to crumble.
Portugal’s center-left government has announced that all migrants with open residency applications will be given regularized status, allowing them full access to health care and social services. Its example shows that our collective response to the coronavirus outbreak has to include everyone — regardless of where they were born.
Today, Portugal votes on whether to reelect a government influenced by the radical left — or else turn back toward the failed austerity policies of the neoliberal center.
With our communities destroyed and our growing distance from each other, we humans of late capitalism are left with a deficit of intimacy and affection.