Criticism of the Portuguese way of life

in News · 07-05-2021 01:00:00 · 5 Comments

EDITOR, It’s amazing! Every time someone complains about anything in Portugal, there are numerous people criticising and berating them. The complaints are serious and well-known to everyone. Yet these people feel personally insulted in some way and tell the complainants to leave the country. This phenomena is far more pronounced in Portugal than anywhere else. I find their reaction strange and I’m not sure what they hoped to accomplish?! However, it does explain a lot about the extraordinary mentality of people here.

  • The emergency department in Faro is one of the worst I have ever experienced in my life, and worse than most third world countries (although if you’re lucky enough to be dying then, I understand, the service is good).
  • The waiting list for a child to see a dermatologist is over 1 year!
  • The postal system is unreliable.
  • Very high IVA of 23%, bureaucratic and very high taxes, especially for low income families.
  • Shockingly, Portugal has one of the highest Winter Mortality Rates in Europe; due to poor quality housing.
  • There’s ‘Legal corruption’ and piped gas prices in some areas (such as Albufeira) is 1250% higher than other regions and even Europe.
  • Lack of free sports for children.
  • One of the most polluting countries in European: The Government encourages diesel (a highly toxic fuel) with lower prices, when other countries are banning it. Poor car inspection (or perhaps corruption) allowing clearly illegal cars to pass inspection, with chocking black smoke fuming from their exhaust pipes.
  • Poor infrastructure and low incentives for Electric Vehicles.

These people will put up with all these wrongs, injustice and inadequacies, but are perturbed if someone dares complain.

Portugal is amazing for many things: great food, weather, people, free pre-school, etc but they need to understand that critical thinking, constructive criticism and opposition to injustice is essential for any society to improve. These people are ‘backward’ and actually stopping Portugal from progressing.

No, I will not leave, I’ll stay and make this country great by ‘naming and shaming’ what’s wrong.

James Smith,



Well, being told to go back to your country should not be something you should find strange. That is the day to day life in your own country and judging by the way to wrote in here I would bet you are the kind of person that would tell an immigran to "go back".

1- With an healhcare far better than the country you come from, I find rather ironic your claim about the "third-world".
2- Waiting lists are indeed long and that is something that needs improvement, not just for the so called "consultas especializadas". No further comment on this.
3- All postal systems I've dealt with are unrealiable, from Fedex to CTT. Being that I often have to deal with them, I can bluntly say that you have a lot of work to do around the globe on this subject. In fact, being you in Portugal, you should start by demanding dmthe renationalization of the CTT. It's privatization was the leading reason for it's problems today.
4 - Algarve does not account for all the "winter" on this country. Buy an electric car with the "not enoigh incentive" and travel a bit...during the winter.
5- Being that you come from a country that allows lobbying (literally legalized corruption), I can only but find strange your pious aproach to corruption in Portugal. But hey, go for it, you have my full support to end it. Just don't take your previous experience as an example, as it would change nothing...
6 - Portugal has one of the lowest emissions per capita in Europe. It's one of the most advanced countries on energy transition in the entire world, it has one of the best electric charging posts infrastructure in Europe for a long time and is among the countries where people buy more electric cars. Something seems off with this statement of your's.

Constructive criticism does not include petty adjectives like "backward" or "third world", much less it includes bluntly lying like you did when you claim Portugal is one of the most polluting. So, again, if this is what you consider "criticism", I really do not know why are you so surprised to be told to go back to your country.

By José Silva from Beiras on 08-05-2021 09:02

I don't think you are going to win any fans by naming and shaming. It's just human nature....change is e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-e-y slow. How do you best respond to criticism? When you correct yourself, you feel pretty embarrassment. If somebody said to you, it's not fair to generalise, you might take offense. Now, if somebody felt they had to broadcast your mistakes to everyone, you'd be pretty upset wouldn't you! It's just human nature.

By William from Other on 07-05-2021 05:44

The Portuguese Law courts are the slowest, most 3rd world in the 1st world. Cases taking years to come to trial.. Banana Law Courts! Disgrace

By Kenneth from Lisbon on 07-05-2021 04:28

Do you expect you will receive different feedback if you go and complain to French about France or Greeks about Greece? Yes, sadly, lots of problems to be solved in Portugal, but criticism induces a sense of national identity, which translates to not accepting "external" criticism about one's own family... thought a different point of view could also be useful.

By Pedro Gardete from Lisbon on 07-05-2021 04:19

“Portugal is amazing(…)but they need to understand that critical thinking, constructive criticism and opposition to injustice is essential for any society to improve. These people are ‘backward’ and actually stopping Portugal from progressing.” Welcome to the club. Now, imagine how Portuguese are treated when they try "constructive criticism": it´s never "constructive" by backwards ppl standards, as they basically defend the rotten-peace-syndrome stance. So my advice to you James, is that you complain to entities OUTSIDE OF PORTUGAL, shame them publicly, because that´s the only thing that brings any change around here. It really PAINS me to say. But hey, for what it´s worth, thank you for not subscribing to our National structural disease(what else can 1 call it, the willingness to keep things at a mediocre level?).

By guida from Lisbon on 07-05-2021 06:37
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