‘This is a social emergency’: Thousands protest in Portugal over housing crisis
Thousands of people took to the streets of Lisbon and other cities across Portugal on Saturday in protest against soaring rents and house prices at a time when high inflation is making it even tougher for people to make ends meet.
“There is a huge housing crisis today,” Rita Silva, from the Habita housing group, said at the Lisbon protest. “This is a social emergency.”
Portugal is one of Western Europe’s poorest countries, with government data showing more than 50% of workers earned less than 1,000 euros ($1,084) per month last year. The monthly minimum wage is 760 euros ($826).
Rents in Lisbon, a tourist hotspot, have jumped 65% since 2015 and sale prices have sky-rocketed 137% in that period, figures from Confidencial Imobiliario, which collects data on housing, show. Rents increased 37% last year alone, more than in Barcelona or Paris, according to another real estate data company, Casafari.