Welcome to the Week em Breve! This week in Portugal: Immigration and Investment, Development Deathtraps, Policies for Progression and for Pollution, and a whole lot more.
Gold Visa Investment Drops But Stays Firmly in Real Estate
March saw a massive drop in investment for gold visas, according to the Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras, the Portugal News writes. Compared to the same month last year, investment fell by 46%, to a little over €103.3 million. Unsurprisingly, the lion’s share of this was still invested in real estate, which was responsible for 163 out of the 174 visas awarded last month. Looks like housing competition isn’t easing up.
Development or Death Trap?
But what do you do once you’ve purchased your new development property? Make it into a death trap, apparently. A group of experts recently recommended that urban redevelopment in Lisbon should include earthquake measures. There are currently no requirements to shore up buildings in the city. Lisbon was built to withstand earthquakes, but as people start renovating, they knock through walls and remove protections that have been in place since 1755. The true dangers of urban redevelopment.
Immigration Is up, Bureaucracy Is Still Bureaucracy
There was a 19% increase in the number of immigrants to Portugal in 2017 compared to 2016 from countries outside of the Euroean Union, the European Economic Area or countries that have special agreements with Portugal, such as Switzerland. There are, as always, massive delays with the paperwork for immigrants in many areas, which is causing friction in some communities. If you want to get a feel for how the system deals with an American immigrant, check out Bogdan Kamuta’s experience at CNAI.
Progressive Portugal Strikes Again
A proposal was approved on Friday that allows people over 16 to change their name and sex on the civil registry without the need of a medical examination. Despite still requiring parental permission for individuals under 18, this is a big step forward for those fighting for gender self-determination. Check out this write up by Sapo for a breakdown of how the different political parties battled on the vote.
KPMG: From Consultant to Convict (Maybe)
Proceedings have concluded that KPMG failed to perform effectively as an auditor for Banco Espírito Santo relating to its exposure to Banco Espírito Santo Angola. Formal charges have been brought against four at the firm, including the auditor and the Portuguese Chairman, Sikander Sattar. While there are no convictions yet, this could result in fines of up to €2.5 million and Publico gives a far more in-depth breakdown of the whys and hows, if it takes your fancy.
Oh, Portugal, Why Do You Tease Us So?
For those of you paying attention, you may remember that March was the first month in which Portugal’s renewable energy surpassed 100%. Well, in a classic switcheroo, Portugal has just been named the “Largest financier of dirty energy with taxpayers’ money.” Bravo!
Carris to Single-Handedly Tackle Global Warming
But fear not the fossil fuels! Carris is looking to purchase 15 electric buses for the people of Lisbon. Will this have a major impact? Probably not, as it is a tiny portion of their current fleet that consists of 603 buses, 48 trams, three funiculars, and one elevator. But hey, it’s a start.
Controversy? What controversy?
The leader of the Socialist Party, Carlos César, has received a little flak this week after using his travel allowance and his Azorean residency rates for flights to the Azores. He is refusing to repay any of the money he received as there was technically no legal or ethical breach, he claims. Technically right is the best kind of right.
What Have We Done?
Lisbon is now ranked as the fifth most hipster city in the world. That’s right, people, based on the number of “vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores per 100,000 city residents,” Lisbon is a hipster paradise. Not only that, but Lisbon has the most “vintage boutiques” per 100,000, worldwide, with Porto coming in a close second. If you want to see how other cities shape up, check out this not-so-serious rundown by Movehub.