Local accommodation owners protest in Lisbon against government measures

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Local accommodation owners protest in Lisbon against government measures (Airbnb License)

Some dozens of local accommodation owners protest today in front of the Parliament, in Lisbon, against the new legislative package proposed by the Government in the scope of the Mais Habitação program, which started to be debated in the Parliament.

The demonstrators carry placards with several protest messages: “60 thousand jobs will disappear”, “local accommodation in Portugal boosts the local economy”, “Medina tax [Fernando Medina, Finance Minister], families in ruin”, “we are a scapegoat for a government without solutions” and “local accommodation is the livelihood of more than 55 thousand families”.

The protest in Lisbon has local accommodation owners coming from various tourist areas of the country, with most of them dressed in blue vests, with an appeal message: “Don’t kill local accommodation”.

Part of the group of demonstrators entered the Assembly of the Republic, where they delivered a petition calling attention to the measures that harm the sector included in the Mais Habitação program, which is now going to be discussed by the parliament.

This protest action was led by the Association of Local Lodging in Portugal (ALEP), which promoted the initiative as a national mobilization “All to the Parliament”, so that the sector shows unity in this fight.

“The goal is to highlight the overwhelming impact that the measures proposed by the Government in the More Housing package will have on our lives, the economy and tourism in the country,” ALEP reported.

The Portuguese Parliament is today debating in generality the Government’s measures to combat the housing crisis, as well as 13 diplomas from the opposition.

Approved by the Council of Ministers on March 30, the More Housing program includes measures such as the forced rental of vacant houses, the suspension of new local housing licenses, and the end of ‘gold’ visas.

One of the Government’s proposed solutions involves incentives for renting, which include greater restrictions on local accommodation.

Thus, new local accommodation licenses will be suspended until December 31, 2030, throughout the country, with the exception of about 200 municipalities and parishes in the interior.

The government’s proposed law also provides that registrations issued on the date the new rules go into effect will expire on December 31, 2030, and will be renewable for five years thereafter.

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