Welcome to the Week em Breve! This week in Portugal: Flying Bed Bugs, Calling More Immigrants, Ditching the Doces, Airport Attacks, Lisbon’s Living Costs, and much, much more!
Even the Guests Have Guests
There are many tourists heading into the city, but the socks with sandals and floppy straw hats aren’t the worst things they bring. Bed Bugs are hitching a ride in the suitcases of travelers and making their way to Lisbon and Porto. This is not an issue specific to Portugal, and is in keeping with a global trend in large cities, which are all seeing an increase in the blood-suckers!
Tourism to Lisbon Boosts Periphery Investment
Let’s look at the bright side of tourism for once! The increase in visitors to Lisbon means that periphery municipalities, such as Oeiras, Amadora, and Odivelas are seeing a boost in investment. This mainly comes from the hotel and catering sectors, and not only from tourists: new tech companies in these areas are driving business too. This is allowing the municipalities to invest in their own cultural and historical sites, making them more than just bedsits for the capital.
We Need More People!
It is not just tourists coming to Lisbon, but permanent and semi-permanent immigrants too, as was reported last week. This is a trend that some in the Portuguese government want to see continue, with the announcement that the country will need 75,000 immigrants per year to stop the decline in the active population. Supporters want to attract people for the startup, agricultural, and higher education sectors.
Ditching the Doces
One population-wide problem that many countries are facing is obesity, specifically childhood obesity. Expected legislation will hopefully help tackle this in Portugal by banning the advertising of unhealthy food and drinks to children. This will include advertisements in schools and playgrounds, on the radio and television, and on internet pages with children’s content. There is debate surrounding this law, but it mainly focussed on what constitutes a “child” rather than the aim of the law itself.
Companies Ignore Parental Rights
While the government tries to reduce childhood obesity, parents are trying to reduce their hours, unsuccessfully. Labor rules entitle parents with children who are under 12 years of age to work flexible hours. However, it seems that the majority of companies do not accept changes to parents’ work schedules. This is according to the Committee on Equality in Work and Employment, which say that 85% of cases brought to them are about this issue.
Airport Staff Suffer Physical and Verbal Abuse
In some not so brilliant news, the number of attacks on airport staff is on the rise. The CEO of Groundforce, Paulo Neto Leite, says, “The incidents are growing, both in frequency and in aggressiveness.” Last year there were a total of eight cases, whereas there have been 10 in the past three months alone. This has been linked to a rise in the number of flight cancellations, providing some sort of explanation, but certainly no excuse. Lisbon airport is now running at capacity, and it seems there has not been a proportionate increase in security to protect the staff.
Lisbon Elected European Green Capital of 2020
Yet another feather has been added to Lisbon’s cap! The capital city was named European Green Capital of 2020 this week for its urban sustainability. This includes the work the city is doing on cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, as well as access to public transport. The award also mentions Lisbon’s plethora of green spaces and massive reductions in emissions and consumption. Well done, Lisbon!
Cost of Living in Lisbon Jumps, Study Finds
According to a study by Mercer released on Monday, Lisbon ranks 93rd most expensive out of the 209 cities included. This means a rise of 44 places since the last Mercer study, and the jump is explained by the rise in housing, catering, and fuel prices, as well as changes to the strength of the euro against the dollar. The study looks at factors such as housing, food, transportation, clothing, household goods, and entertainment. This won’t come as a surprise to those who have been keeping track of other cost-of-living studies.
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