September 20, 2018 by Eden Flaherty
The Week em Breve – September 20
Welcome to the Week em Breve! This week in Portugal: the Looming Financial Crisis, Landlords Could Get Tax Break, Crabby Cabbies, Dangerous Drones, Arson, and much more!
Learning from the Lehmans
Let’s kick this week off with the possibility of a looming financial crisis. President of the Portuguese Banking Association, Fernando Faria de Oliveira, has said that lessons have not been learned from the 2008 crash, and high indebtedness could lead to the next major crisis. Countries and institutions continue to have high levels of debt, and combined with the “real estate sector (either directly or indirectly), protectionism, and a poorly regulated financial system,” could cause chaos.
Long-Term Landlords Should Pay Less, Says Lisbon’s Mayor
Speaking of crisis-inducing real estate, Fernando Medina, Lisbon’s mayor, has spoken out against a proposal to increase property taxes. A tax proposal was brought forward to try to temper the seemingly out-of-control property market in the city. Medina has instead called for a “reduction in taxes on landlords that rent out their properties via long-term rental contracts.” This is not the first attempt to try to put the breaks on the expected property crash, let’s see where it goes.
More than 1300 taxi drivers have taken to the streets of Lisbon, Porto, and Faro to protest the so-called Uber Law. They are calling for a “‘fair balance’ between the taxi sector and… platforms operating in Portugal such as Uber, Taxify, Cabify and Chauffeur Privé.” The law that will regulate these platforms is set to come into force Nov. 1. Ironically, Wednesday — the start of the demonstration — saw a hike in the number of people using the electronic platforms, resulting in a 5 – 10% increase for Taxify alone.
Plane Forced to Dodge Drone
Another close call between an aircraft and a drone has led to renewed calls for the registration of owners. The system, which is not yet implemented, was one of the measures introduced over the summer to hold drone owners accountable. However, the National Civil Aviation Authority has said that it “doesn’t know” when the platform will launch, and it is very likely still months away. There are rules in place, but they seem to be doing little as these incidents still occur.
Faro’s Foreign Firestarter
An expat, who has supposedly been living in Portugal for more than 20 years, has been detained for allegedly starting two recent fires. The fires took place in the Monchique mountain range but were not major incidents. This region suffered more severe fires in August, however, in which 41 people were injured, showing just how dangerous these cases of arson can be.
Diverse Forests Quell Fires and Droughts
Forest fires can be tamed, however, through diversification. Recent research from the U.S. has found that a variety of trees means that forests suffer less during both fires and droughts. This is down to the way in which the trees use water and how the water moves through a forest, according to the researchers. This diversification is being actively encouraged in Portugal, as can be seen with volunteers uprooting eucalyptus trees in order to allow oak and pine trees to grow in Vouzela.
Portugal Has Fourth Smallest Wage Increase in EU
In the second quarter of 2018, Portugal had the fourth smallest increase in wages in the EU. The increase was just 1.2% when compared with the same period last year. The data, published by Eurostat, shows the nominal increase, which doesn’t take into account changing costs, making the real-term increase even less.
Think we missed an important story? Let us know in the comments!