More than half say crisis is not over

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 13-09-2019 01:00:00 · 3 Comments
More than half say crisis is not over

More than half of Portuguese citizens said that the crisis has not passed with one of the biggest concerns being unemployment, even after levels have fallen to half the levels of four years ago.

According to the II Great Sustainability Survey in Portugal, developed by researchers from the Institute of Social Sciences (ICS) of the University of Lisbon (UL), 53.5 percent of the people surveyed said that the crisis has not passed and only less than a third (29.8 percent) say that the crisis is over.

“People feel that the crisis is not over yet and this has left them suspicious and with a feeling of insecurity that remains active and is decisive for many behaviours”, said ICS researcher Luísa Schmidt, one of the coordinators of the study.

She pointed out that families using free public spaces such as parks and gardens rather than visiting shopping centres is an example of changed behaviour which first began during the crisis and has not altered.

As for the impact of the economic crisis on consumer habits, in general, it changed habits for the overwhelming majority of the population, but it was those most vulnerable to the effects of the crisis that changed the most.

As proof of the feeling of distrust towards the crisis, unemployment appears to be the main concern of the Portuguese national, even though levels have fallen in the last four years from 14.3 percent to 7.4 percent.

The second major set of concerns was called “a shake-up of confidence in the state” by the researchers. In this group, the respondents pointed out most often “corruption” (26 percent), but the functional failure of the state that most worries them is the “health system” (24.5 percent), its functioning and access. Next, the respondents pointed out the drop in “credibility of the political class” (16.1 percent).

The third major set of concerns revolves around various manifestations of “disharmony and social discord” (35.4 percent), including poverty/exclusion (16.8 percent), the fragility of the country’s economy (12.8 percent) and social inequalities (9.9 percent).

When it comes to disposable income health care rose to first place (50.5 percent), especially for those over 64 years old and with less education and income, while savings (47.8 percent) moved to second place in investment priorities, “which indicates that, for the Portuguese citizens, the experience of the economic crisis is still very present and, above all, had structural impacts regarding the need for fundamental economic security,” the study showed.


A brief look at the demographics of Portugal shows not only is this crisis not over it will inevitably last for decades. The main driver of this is the low fecundity rate of the past 20 years which means that not only is the total population going to decline steadily but in the next 20years we will see a massive drop in the size of the working population. There are currently just over 3 million people in Portugal aged 45-65 who are potential workers and taxpayers ( I know not all work but that's true of any age group) who will mostly move into retirement in the next 20 years. These will be replaced by those currently aged under 20 but there are only about 2 million of them. A fall in 20 years of 1 million potential workers/taxpayers, around 15% of the working population, plus a massive shift in the dependency ratio. This will provide a substantial challenge to Portugal's ability to raise enough tax to fund its current debt and budget plus provide care for the ever increasing population %age in retirement.
And unfortunately less people coming into the workforce wont reduce unemployment because less earners results in less demand for everything from accommodation to clothes, food and even haircuts.
Also it doesn't stop there! A million less people in the 20-40 age group means roughly half a million less women to have babies, which are mostly born to that age group. At the current fecundity rate that is a further fall of about 700,000 births in those beingg born in the next 20 years. A further huge drop in demand for everything from eg maternity services, teachers to educate them and all the other things that the young require.
The demographic deficit is a slow burning but absolutely relentless and substantially irreversible time bomb under the Portuguese economy and society that no-one in government seems willing or able to address.

by John Galpin from UK on 11-10-2019 10:16:00

This is such an important topic. The article does not explain much in terms of the context nor the survey. It would be nice to have more information and maybe a reference for the survey report in order to access it.

by Cathy from Lisbon on 13-09-2019 04:14:00


by Kit from Lisbon on 13-09-2019 10:42:00
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