Author`s name Pravda.Ru

Winter of Discontent for Portugal

PSD government reneges on election promise
The PSD-PP (Social Democrats/Popular Party, whose program is neither socially protective, nor democratic, nor popular) reneges on an election promise not to raise taxes while proposing a string of measures which are certain to cause unrest and discontent in this nation struggling with low salaries and high prices.

Seen by many Eastern European countries as a good example to follow regarding EU adhesion policies, the people of Portugal continue to live through consumer credit, while their salaries are among the lowest in Europe and the prices they pay are practically the same, if not higher, than other wealthier countries.

To rub salt into the wounds of its long-suffering population the new PSD/PP coalition government is proposing measures which are certain to cause an outburst of popular fury this winter. Having scraped to power with an unconvincing marginal victory over an inept Socialist Party (PS), the PSD/PP played the popular election card that taxes would not rise, a promise which has lasted only for a few months.

The acerbic Finance Minister, Manuela Ferreira Leite has declared recently that taxes will be increased, despite the election promises. Relegating the PSD manifesto to a worthless tissue of lies, while she makes declarations of the type “Do you think if I were a Mayor I would be satisfied with this budget? Of course I wouldn’t."

Civil Service salary increases of 1.8 percent, while inflation is set well into the 3 percent mark, proposals to reduce the night-shift overtime limit, to increase the working schedule to a possible 60 hours per week, limiting maternity leave, curbing the right to strike, increasing temporary employment contracts and making it easier to dismiss a worker are other measures which are bound to have serious repercussions and which demonstrate a total lack of contact with the needs and aspirations of the people these politicians were supposedly elected to govern.

Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru