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Dear Editor,

Recently I undertook a week’s tour of Portugal visiting many historical places (read article on page 35). As well as being an education for my partner and I regarding the history of Portugal, where I now reside, it was also an education notifying the investment up North compared to the little investment here down South where construction is in progress.

The other observation I did not mention was, each time we arrived at a village or town during the day, it was partially closed. From a tourist point of view, you had to arrive between 9am and 12 noon or after 4pm to enter any shops.

Each town had a tourist office, these too were closed for extended lunch breaks. If these towns are purely there to provide business for locals then OK! If they can survive on that restricted income then again I say OK.

If they are hoping for income from visiting tourists then they have to re-plan their working hours like we do in the northern areas of Europe. I worked from 8am through to 7pm for many years with a short break for lunch. It did not kill me or end my family life.

If the people of Portugal want to get out of the financial mire they are currently in then austerity should be:

1. Work from 8am to late scheduling staff lunch times

2. Governments should not hit the hard working taxpayers with high income taxes. They need extra cash for purchases to support other businesses.

3. Governments should not heavily tax services to the point that they will no longer exist.  

4. Governments and its people must compromise and work together to create a fair economy for all. No filthy rich, no desperate poor. We all need each other equally.

BARRINGTON THOMPSON