I was shocked when I read this headline, and thought that it was from some conspiratorial (un-named) financial website. But it is actually true, Portugal’s PM suggested that the unemployed leave the country! If that is not a bad sign for the Euro-Zone, I do not know what is…

 

portugal austerity riots

Lisbon, Portugal – Hounded by the economic crisis that shows no signs of letting up and by political leaders of all stripes, Portugal’s conservative Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho sent out an unprecedented message to his fellow citizens: Emigrate.

A wave of indignation was triggered when Passos Coelho, in the face of the growing unemployment that is hitting young people and educators extremely hard, suggested to teachers on December 18 that as an alternative they could move to Portuguese-speaking countries like Brazil or Angola.

The next day, several ministers applauded the prime minister’s remarks, saying his suggestion was a valid solution, especially for teachers.

But the governments of Angola and Brazil quickly responded, saying they had no immediate need for teachers.

Surveys indicate that young people between the ages of 25 and 34 are the most interested in moving abroad.

Joao Peixoto, a researcher at the School of Economics and Management (ISEG), told the Publico newspaper that in order to emigrate, “it’s not enough for things to be bad here; it’s also necessary for us to have a place to go”.

The decision to leave one’s country “is not easy, it’s painful and difficult, and people don’t emigrate just because some political leader says they should,” said Peixoto, who described Passos Coelho’s remarks as “odd for a prime minister to make”.

Ana Maria Gomes, a member of the European Parliament, said that when she heard what he said, “I felt furious, because that is the last thing a prime minister should say.”

“Worse than feeling impotent is giving up, because no matter how complicated things are, we can and must pull out of this, because we have qualified young people, the result of the investment in education made over the last few decades,” said Gomes, one of the most prominent leaders of the so-called left wing of the Socialist Party.

Full article here-http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2011/12/20111230137979968.html