Portugal is now serving one year operated without the bailout has improved its macroeconomic figures, which is reflected in the “real life” in the form of increased unemployed and migrants, as well as deepening the social gaps.
In the past twelve months have lost their jobs more than 100,000 Portuguese and is expected to follow suit this year another 40,000 more, its GDP has contracted by 1.6% and fall twice in 2012 and spending and investment public has plummeted.
The recession has helped the country’s public debt and even exceed the total value of its economy, surpassing the 180,000 million.
External support has enabled the country to be funded to meet its commitments and avoid the risk of default, but has failed to reduce the pressure from the markets, with its ten-year securities trading at around 12%, five points than a year ago.
The loan of the troika was, in return, the adoption of an extensive program of adjustments that the Government has applied firmly Luso.
Among the austerity measures is the increase in the tax burden, implemented through an increase in VAT which has increased for all Portuguese alike since the electricity and gas to buying foods like cold cuts, canned vegetables or canned fruits.
But not only. The price of public transport has risen by 15% on average, civil servants and pensioners have lost some of their bonuses, and go to the doctor, eating out or going to the movies is now more expensive than in April 2011.
This has criminalized private consumption, considered key to return to the path of growth, which has also contributed to the rising cost of oil, with a liter of petrol from 95 to 1.8 euros, a record.
Similar or even higher prices to other European countries, although the average wage in Portugal is around € 17,000 per year, significantly lower than most EU partners, which has also exacerbated the already high social differences in the country.
The Government Luso, conservative sign, remains convinced that the austerity is the only possible path for the country, which combined with structural reforms such as labor market, he predicts that the economic recovery begins in 2013.
As a positive sign, the Executive wields increasing their exports, helping to reduce its trade deficit (considered one of the main problems), and remember that trust cut its deficit to 3% next year.
“We are half way”, stated this week his finance minister, Vitor Gaspar.
On the street, however, some are not so optimistic. As Luis Andrade, a young telephone operator who worked for two years and lost his job two months ago.
“I’m doing a training course, but if I find anything, I can not rule go abroad. Not want to stay at my parents’ lifetime,” he explains. Now part of that 35% of children under 25 who are unemployed.
It is estimated that 150,000 Portuguese have left the country in this period, many of them highly skilled immigrants and progress is also beginning to perceive.
Luis is in a worse, industrial operator, who at 48 years is a “long-term unemployed.” He has a daughter and a house to maintain, but their benefit is reduced to 100 euros per month.
“I see the picture very black, and politicians have no feeling” sentence outside a job center with undisguised disgust.