Press "Enter" to skip to content

Portugal protesters march in anti-poverty demonstrations

Thousands of people have marched in the Portuguese capital Lisbon, calling for higher wages and other measures to help tackle poverty and the rising cost of living.

The march on Saturday, called by the CGTP, the country’s main trades union confederation, came a day after a national strike by civil servants in support of higher wages.

Metalworker Paula Gonçalves, 51, said people were “protesting against low wages, precariousness and for more justice” for workers.

“We, the workers, are the ones who produce, we give everything we have… and the profit is all for employers and nothing for us,” she said.

“Each time I go to the supermarket I see that the [prices of] products increase a little more every day and wages do not follow… it is urgent to cap the increase in the cost of living,” said Ana Amaral, 51, a hospital administrative assistant .

That action hit rubbish collection, schools and hospitals.

The CGTP wants the government to implement a package of anti-poverty measures including price controls on essential commodities and action to limit soaring rents and the cost of property loans.

Spiking inflation 

A year after Socialist Prime Minister Antonio Costa won a majority in parliament, he is facing street protests and strikes by teachers, doctors, railway workers, and other professionals.

Over 2022, inflation reached 7.4 percent, the highest level in 30 years.

CGTP General Secretary Isabel Camarinha told the crowd they wanted pay rises of at least 10 percent, above the rate of inflation, and nothing less than an increase of $108 for all workers.

Portugal is one of Western Europe’s poorest countries and official data shows that more than 50 percent of Portuguese workers earned less than $1,067 per month last year.

According to Eurostat data, the minimum wage in Portugal — measured in purchasing power parities and not at current prices — in 2023 is $733 a month, the 12th lowest of the 15 European Union countries that have minimum wages.

It compares with $782 in Poland, $835 in Greece or $859 in Spain.

More from EuropeMore posts in Europe »

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *