December 08, 2011

The Problem of a Nation

Today is a religious holiday here in Portugal (and to clarify we are not part of Spain) it’s called “Immaculate Conception”. It is the last time we will have this holiday because of the crisis, the Portuguese government cut off some holidays. I am not very religious but I think these days are special and part of our culture it is very sad to put it to an end. It is true we have more holidays than most European countries but this shouldn’t be an available option, to just scratch off some holidays.

I don’t think most of you know much about other countries realities, and because Portugal is such a small country some of you don’t even know where it is. I can’t blame you. Here the Christmas spirit is not like other years, the news are all about everything that will happen next year. Portuguese people are a little depressed and not welcoming as they were. It's as if people were losing their soul, their identity.

It’s is sad that we have to go through this, but hopefully we will succeed.


  1. You must know that Portugal - just like its European companions Ireland and Greece - is extremely indebted. A strategy that the Portuguese Government attempted this time around was cutting down holidays to get its individuals to work more, thus earning more. Then, the government will be collecting that money through various policies, such as taxes, and so this extra revenue the government acquires is used to buy out its debt.

    Theoretically this idea is achievable; and I am not saying in reality it is not but there are far too many limitations that the Portuguese Government would face. On the socioeconomic point of view, just like the rest of the world's pains, the average Portuguese citizen will have a lower purchasing power due to the tax rates. On the geopolitical point of view, the Portuguese citizens will most certainly be enraged by the current situation in Portugal, blame the government, and set out on many political endeavors - such as those in many parts of the Middle East and Wall Street.

    All I am saying is, the holidays are most probably going to get reinstated once the situation is stable. Currently, the cooperation of the citizens with the government would be highly appreciative.


  2. Portuguese people have minimum salaries of less than 500 euros so their economic power was already low. A very good salary here is around 1100, 1200 and with taxes that goes to 990, something like that which is lower than the minimum salary in other European countries.

  3. Which explains how the government was poorly conducting its economy from the start. If it had maximized its profits, exports more than it imports, and worked on getting its markets as efficient as possible, then the community would have gotten a well-rounded pay check at the end of the month.

    However, my speculation is that Portugal isn't as planned out as its neighboring European super-powers and so it got into a lot of debt.

  4. Saying what should be done is very easy but things are hard to do. We don’t produce much and we have to import energy as well even do we have one of the bigger renewable energy producers but by closing Portugal from other energy markets we wouldn’t be able to sell energy and other things. It is like a give-give situation, we get energy from here and there and they let us export potatoes or something else. Vegetables end price here is higher than French or Spanish ones, we get lower pay checks, so it should mean less expensive. It doesn’t. These things go through taxes like 3 times before they get to the consumers hands. We are talking about taxes that go until 28% how is that possible? The other products after the taxes in their countries plus import fees are lower.

  5. Frankly, I think you cannot really compare Portugal with the other European economic super-powers. The prices will most likely differ between the two in almost all the products. The situation in Portugal is far more advanced than others, so the government is trying to revive itself through these large taxes. However, the government should find alternatives, rather than basing its taxes as high as 28%. Therefore, the government will be getting its revenue without making it 'seem' as hefty as a 28% tax rate.

    As for the imports, I cannot truly say how Portugal can expand their exports and reduce their imports because I am not a citizen that knows what Portugal produces. From what you're saying, they import vegetables, and that leads me to think that Portugal has an agricultural based economy. That might be the problem as Portugal's neighbors and industrialized countries with far more advanced equipment.

  6. I'm also from Portugal and I know for a fact that Portugal doesn't produce anything. I'm kind of surprised the situation isn't worse.


Nice to see you back! Oh wait. .. .who are you again?