In Portugal, the far-right has made a breakthrough despite good economic results

In Portugal, the far-right has made a breakthrough despite good economic results

While the French government is facing a slide in its public finances, with a larger deficit than expected, Portugal is recording good budget numbers, and is among the good European students: its budget is in surplus, and its debts have fallen to less than 100%. Of national wealth, the unemployment rate is about 6%. We are talking about an economic miracle in a country that was on the verge of bankruptcy 10 years ago.

Budgetary strictness organized by the Portuguese socialists who came to power in recent years. “These good economic numbers have allowed us to achieve certain social progress, such as increasing pensions and the minimum wage, which has almost doubled (820 euros per month),” estimates Margarida Márquez, a Portuguese MEP and member of the Portuguese Socialist Party. and the Social Democrats group in the European Parliament. She participated in the debate on the Ici l'Europe program, on France 24, and in the General Senate.

Low wages and the housing crisis

But despite all this, Portugal still suffers from profound social difficulties, with more than two million people living below the poverty line. The serious housing crisis also affects the residents of Lusitanians who have to face an explosion in property prices. Between 2021 and 2022, the rent for an average apartment in Lisbon increased by 50%.

“I will not say that there is a Portuguese economic miracle: the tax burden is too high, and salaries are too low,” said José Manuel Fernández, a Portuguese MEP and member of the European People's Party and Social Democratic Party group. It is a center-right party that won the last legislative elections at the beginning of last March by a narrow margin over the left. “The average salary in Portugal is getting closer and closer to the minimum wage,” he laments. The average disposable income (excluding fees) is €960 per month. “Some of the eastern countries that joined the EU in the 2000s (Portugal entered in 1986) have surpassed us in terms of wealth produced per capita! »

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Portugal faces the rise of the far right

In this context, the far-right Chiga Party achieved an unprecedented breakthrough in the legislative elections by winning third place with 18% of the votes, which is a record percentage. The so-called government parties fear achieving a similar breakthrough in the upcoming European elections next June, knowing that Chiga does not currently have a member of the European Parliament.

“Chiga’s endeavor is part of a dynamic and a network of the European far right that must be fought. Chiga was supported, for example, by Marine Le Pen in the Portuguese campaign,” explains Margarida Márquez.

“The only solution to fight the far right is to follow good policies,” analyzes José Manuel Fernández. “Chiga voters are not racist, and they are not pro-Russian. They're just frustrated. We must give them a future, especially young people, and solve their daily problems.

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"Desbravador de cerveja apaixonado. Álcool alcoólico incurável. Geek de bacon. Viciado em web em geral."

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