By Sergio Goncalves and Miguel Pereira
LISBON (Reuters) – Thousands of protesters filled downtown Lisbon on Saturday to need increased wages and pensions, as well as governing administration intervention to cap soaring food selling prices they say are strangling currently limited budgets.
Metalworker Paula Gonçalves, 51, explained people today had been “protesting towards low wages, precariousness and for much more justice” for employees.
“We, the workers, are the types who develop, we give every little thing we have… and the earnings is all for businesses and very little for us,” she mentioned.
Portugal is a single of Western Europe’s poorest international locations and formal information reveals that extra than 50% of Portuguese staff acquired significantly less than 1,000 euros ($1,067) per month very last year, though the minimum amount wage is only 760 euros for every thirty day period.
In accordance to Eurostat facts, the minimal wage in Portugal – calculated in getting electricity parities and not at present charges – in 2023 is 681 euros a thirty day period, the 12th cheapest of the 15 European Union nations that have least wages. It compares with 726 euros in Poland, 775 euros in Greece or 798 euros in Spain.
Portugal’s greatest umbrella union, the CGTP, which known as the protests, is calling for wages and pensions to be elevated by at the very least 10% immediately and wants the govt to impose caps on the rate of basic foodstuff.
Portugal’s financial system minister Antonio Costa Silva dominated out on Friday any federal government intervention to stem soaring meals prices, viewing the current market as the best selling price-setting system.
As of Jan. 1, civil servants’ salaries ended up up by an ordinary of 3.6% from 2022 degrees and those people of the private sector grew by 5.1%, although pensions rose by a optimum of 4.83%, federal government data displays.
Portuguese inflation slowed to 8.2% in February from 8.4% the former thirty day period. Rates of unprocessed food stuff products and solutions, these kinds of as fruit and greens, surged 20.11%.
A yr just after Socialist Prime Minister Antonio Costa received a the vast majority in parliament, he is facing street protests and strikes by instructors, doctors, railway personnel, and other professionals.
“Each time I go to the grocery store I see that the (selling prices of) solutions raise a minimal much more each individual day and wages do not adhere to… it is urgent to cap the improve in the charge of dwelling,” said Ana Amaral, 51, a medical center administrative assistant.
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