Portugal’s housing crisis hits The Guardian which talks of “madness”


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Problems highlighted by The Guardian that have led to the country’s current state include digital noma4ds, golden visas and Airbnbs.

The real estate market has been distorted and has become “unrecognizable” in a country where the minimum monthly wage is €760 and where 50% of people earn less than €1,000 a month. Digital nomads, golden visas and Airbnbs are among the problems that have led to the country’s current state.

This is what the British newspaper The Guardian says, in an article attacking António Costa’s government for its attempts to attract foreign investment but thereby distort the Portuguese real estate market. This Monday, this is one of the 10 most read articles in the British newspaper.

According to The Guardian, the UN warned six years ago that “rampant touristification” would undermine the right to housing of the most vulnerable Portuguese and predicted that the degradation of housing and living conditions would lead to the emergence of “new poor”.

“The situation is crazy,” said Agustín Cocola-Gant, a researcher at the Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning at the University of Lisbon, describing the impact of the wage gap as across the board. “It affects everyone now – not just the vulnerable population.”

Activist and researcher Rita Silva says in the article that the crisis is only serving to increase existing inequalities. “Doctors are not coming to the big cities, where they are much needed, because they can’t afford housing,” she said.

“The market has become decontextualized in that it is no longer geared towards those who live and work in Portugal. It is a market that, through government policies, is geared towards foreign investment.”

The two researchers tell the English newspaper that the rush to get Portugal out of the financial crisis and onto the global investment map has led directly to the current situation.

Digital nomads are part of the problem. These are foreigners who work remotely and can get visas in Portugal if they meet the requirements, including monthly earnings of more than €3,040. According to Nomad List, there are currently around 15,200 digital nomads in Lisbon.

“They are a privileged population that takes advantage of this global inequality and basically come here to gentrify and put more pressure on the real estate market,” Cocola-Gant said.

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