Few years ago a former Dutch politician enjoying Lisbon’s light and weather advise Portuguese to avoid restaurants and start eating some sandwiches. Such attitude was not a lonely fact. Who pays attention to Portuguese situation and current speeches it became clear this crisis is assumed to have a deep political influence. Since Portugal joined what comes to be European Union its society grows in standards. Capitalism brought the massive consumption, new employment’s opportunities, the growth of urban tissue, and new patterns of life resulting from this deep changes, such as vacations, cultural habits, and social mobility. The cut with the past was then vibrant with the increase of universities in response to a massive numbers of students looking for academic education.
It is undeniable for all Portuguese that joined of UE resulted in a waste of money, or in other terms: in a bad use of European financing. But this unquestionable truth which European journalists loves to demonstrate it is just a piece of the cake. Germany sold its old war fleet to Portugal and Portuguese economical bases were closed as part of the joining agreement: agriculture, fishery and many industrial factories, clear competitors with German and other European industries.
Later on, when Portuguese government decided to joined the euro (without public consult) it were also clear for all Portuguese that life will never be the same again. Everything was double-priced except the salaries. Bank loans became the fast solution found for most of the families. There was a growing bubble in Portuguese society.
But what comes central now is how this crisis represented an opportunity for Germany and Holland. The troika’s program – one of the most hated words in Portugal, only defeated by Angela Merkel – it has no Christian proposes. Last three decades made Portuguese society a very well prepared one: Portuguese creativity, efficiency and disposition for languages and adaption were ally to high education. The combination of those factors created excellent works in several areas. So… why not make them poor once more to hire them for low salaries? If Portugal, Italy or Spain became poor one more, their extraordinary weather, food and beaches will be come (even more) excellent vacation destinations and allows real “European” companies to have well prepared workers for lower salaries, like I said before.
This general attitude toward south-European countries is shared for instance by the Portuguese Passos Coelho’s conservative government. The Portuguese Primer-Minister once said, “With or without troika this would be my government program”. Massive cutes in salaries, redundancies programs and supports for big companies and banks shows clearly the ideas of Portuguese government which head is seated at Berlin.