Government accused of “condemning country to hunger”
‘Users of the Abril 25 bridge’ in Lisbon orchestrated a ‘horn blaring protest’ today against the successive increases in the price of fuel.
Petrol and diesel are selling at the pumps at ‘hitherto unseen values’. This week heralded what newspapers described as ‘another brutal increase’ in prices; next week is set to see another very similar.
The consequences on all levels of the economy are becoming unsustainable.
Uber-type platforms affirm their sector is being “strangled”; firefighting associations talk of “asphyxia”, the ‘democratic association of users of Abril 25 bridge’ believe the government has “condemned the country to hunger”.
This is all coming as the wider picture is beset with difficulties. Reports allude to the CGTP (confederation of Portuguese workers) “preparing a hot summer”.
“Officially the hypothesis of a general strike to force the government to increase wages and review public sector career structures has not yet been discussed”, writes Expresso. But it is definitely a scenario.
PM António Costa’s speech about increasing wages within the next four years by 20% has also seen Socialist Party members described as “worried”, as they can see that the ‘four-year window’ for action on impossibly low salaries won’t appease anyone in the current economic climate.
Portugal is going into a long weekend (tomorrow is Dia de Portugal – a Bank Holiday normally associated with ‘celebrations’ and trips to the seaside). Instead citizens are counting their kilometres as issues heat up on almost every level.