Welcome to the Week em Breve! This week in Portugal: Web Summit Impact on Lisbon, Fake News, Road Deaths, and much more!
The First Web Summit Impact Reports
So, what came out of the Web Summit? Firstly, the number of card transactions and withdrawals from ATMs increased by 20.5% compared with last year, which seems to show a boost with this year’s larger summit. Last year the direct revenues from the event were about €30 million, and this is expected to increase to around €45 million as the summit grows. These figures are the justification for the €11 million a year the Portuguese government is investing. Additionally, it seems as if Lisbon stole Paddy Cosgrave’s heart — he will be moving here! Cosgrave, the Web Summit founder, made the announcement on the final day of the summit, adding that the Lisbon summit offices would be “expanded dramatically.”
Road Deaths Continue to Rise
The number of deaths on Portuguese roads has once again increased. A spike in 2017 following a downward trend over the previous two decades led the government to announce a focus on road safety, but it seems as though this has failed. The first 10 months of 2018 saw 422 fatalities, up from 420 in 2017 and far higher than the 372 in 2016. Lisbon was not the most deadly area, falling behind Porto and Setúbal, but did have the highest number of serious injuries.
Lending Drops for Third Month
The real-estate tsunami seems to finally be cresting with the number of new home loans dropping for the third month in a row. This seems to be in response to new regulations from the Portuguese central bank that impose tighter terms for lending. Despite the three-month fall, there were still 6.9% more new home loans when compared with 2017.
Rent-Rise Rate Reduced
In more housing news, the rate at which rents are rising has slowed. Don’t celebrate too much, rent is still 17% higher than this time last year and up 1.8% on the previous quarter. But, this is lower than the 4.6% rise over the first two quarters of this year. So, small victories, I guess. This trend is reflected in Greater Lisbon as well as the rest of the country, with average rent prices still rising.
FAKE NEWS!! FAKE NEWS!!
Apparently, the fake-news scare has made its way to Portugal. According to DN, two online “news sites” have garnered millions of shares and hundreds of thousands of followers. The one which draws concern is called Bombeiros 24, which has nothing to do with the actual firefighters despite search engines directing people there instead of the emergency services. The news sites are allegedly publishing false articles about typical red-hop topics such as murder, suicide, and violent attacks. These are being shared via social media and, according to reports, earning the site-owners thousands of euros in ad revenue. The people responsible are as of yet unknown, but the hosting has been linked to France.
Tech For Trains
Comboios de Portugal has come under a lot of criticism in recent months (years?), and it looks like they’re about to get a little bit more. Despite the problems that plague their fleet, and the cancellations and delays seen on some of the country’s busiest lines, CP has decided to buy 400,000€ worth of tablets. No, it’s not great new medical care for its workers, but rather 850 techie-tablets for CP personnel — mainly drivers — who are on the move and need “adequate equipment” to perform their tasks in a mobile setting. Ah, Lisbon, the tech-hub of Europe.
Training for Techies
With all these tech startups flooding the city, one of the most noticeable has probably been the introduction of the Lime scooters. These pay-by-the-minute gadgets have seen all types of folk whizzing about the city, but now comes a stark warning. Caen Contee, Lime’s co-founder, explained that if people don’t leave the scooters correctly parked, their accounts will be suspended or banned. What constitutes “correct” was decided upon with the Camara Municipal de Lisboa and is verified with a photo. Remember what happened last time, people.
Nothing for Students
In our final piece of transport news, students may lose their discounted bus passes. The private companies have threatened to revoke these discounts in December if the government doesn’t pay the €13 million that they claim they’re owed. Currently, students in basic, secondary, and tertiary education are able to get the passes, but this may soon come to an ugly end. Could it be that the government favors summits over students and entrepreneurs over education?
Think we missed an important story? Let us know in the comments!