The austerity measures demanded by the Troika have destroyed half a million jobs in Portugal. This year, Portugal will have fewer people employed than in 1960. And in 2014 the situation is expected to worsen further.
According to Diário de Notícias newspaper, reporting on figures published in the Summer 2013 Economic Bulletin of the Bank of Portugal, ‘already this year Portugal will have fewer people employed than in 1960’ and that since the ‘Troika adjustment period the labour market erased some 500,000 jobs.’
The 78 billion euro international loan agreed between the Portuguese government and the IMF, ECB and EU in May 2011 came attached to a programme of brutal austerity measures and pro-market structural reforms – including cuts to labour rights, welfare and the public sector employment.
According to Bank of Portugal forecasts, employment will fall 4.8% this year and will continue to fall in 2014.
The Bank of Portugal predicts that in 2013 222,500 jobs will have been destroyed in a country of 10.5 million, and a further 57,400 will go in 2014. In 2012, over 200,000 people lost their jobs.
The OECD announced on Tuesday that it foresees a rise in the unemployment rate in Portugal to 18.6% in late 2014.
The right wing coalition government in Lisbon and the Troika have announced plans to lay off thousands of public sector workers – as well as a rise in the working week from 36 to 40 hours, according to Portugal News website.
Austerity measures have led to a led to a sharp rise in poverty, which is now affecting close to half the population, with inequality on the increase too, new figures show.