Carlos Moedas
Carlos Moedas' recent tweet about 'working daily to increase the offer of habitation' has infuriated people on social media platform Twitter

Lisbon mayor inaugurates private student hostel; runs headlong into criticism

Rooms at NIDO Campo Pequeno start at €700 a month

Lisbon mayor Carlos Moedas inaugurated a new private student residence in Campo Pequeno last week, running headlong into a barrage of criticism. Rooms start at Nido Campo Pequeno at €700 a month: in other words, ‘a million miles’ from ‘normal family budgets’ for a student studying away from home.

Clearly, the point is that Nido is a private venture. But Mr Moedas’ tweet: “We inaugurate a new residency for students in Campo Pequeno. We work daily to increase the offer of habitation: through the public and private, social and cooperative sector” inflamed his social media following.

As media reports today attest, “one of the more than 500 commentaries” described the mayor’s comments as showing “a complete lack of respect for everyone”.

The Lisbon academic federation also refused to go to the inauguration, only too aware that NIDO will be beyond the reach of the crushing majority of today’s students, and their families.

As another of the many outraged commentators explained, the baseline price of a room at NIDO for just one month costs more than the whole year of student fees.

This difficult moment comes as the government’s programme laid out as a solution to the ‘housing crisis’ in Portugal is still under public discussion, but already accepted as very little more than a poorly-presented exercise in propaganda.

Very much the political topic of the day, it has prompted a poll – conducted for Jornal de Negoçios and the Correio da Manhã newspaper and television station – which shows that the “large majority of Portuguese blames the government for the crisis in housing” that has come home to roost with avengeance.

“These conclusions are not a surprise, since the presentation of the plan (on February 16) it has been clear it that it would be a fiasco (if adopted) and that the majority of measures announced will never leave the dominion of intentions”, writes Correio da Manhã’s executive director Paulo João Santos.

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