A Closer Look

Recession has Portugal urging citizens to leave to find work – USATODAY.com

For nearly 600 years, Portugal had one of the greatest colonial empires in Europe, commanding trade centers in Africa, South America and China.

Ana, a 28-year-old unemployed Portuguese woman, waits in line in Lisbon on Jan. 3 to discuss her unemployment benefits. Austerity measures have made it difficult for many Portuguese to find work.

Now, laid low by recession, Portugal is telling citizens to head to former colonies where Portuguese is spoken, such as Brazil and Macau, to find work.

“Recent graduates should lead a new type of emigration, different from the 1960s, when Europe was the destination,” Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Miguel Relvas said recently. “In the past 20 years, Portugal has invested in a generation of people, and now we can’t give them what they need: employment.”

The Portuguese government has admitted it is unable to provide job opportunities to the country’s 700,000 unemployed, especially teachers and recent graduates. Many of them have lost jobs, or been unable to find employment at all, as a result of austerity measures imposed by the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the European Central Bank when they bailed out the country to the tune of $115 billion last May.

Portugal’s unemployment rate reached its highest level ever in December: 14%, according the Portuguese National Institute of Statistics. Talk of a second bailout has led to fears that there might be more austerity to come…

via Recession has Portugal urging citizens to leave to find work – USATODAY.com.

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