Portugal’s solution is much like Iceland’s solution.
Specifically, they have eschewed German economics and German austerity, and instead have chosen to build up their society, and their societal protections:
Considering the booming economy, dropping unemployment numbers and the return of many once-emigrated young Portuguese citizens, it seems Portugal is on the rise. Facing the policies of socialist Prime Minister António Costa, which include properly supporting the welfare state and investing in the public sector instead of austerity measures, right wing populists don’t stand a chance.
Not too long ago, Portugal stood on the brink of catastrophe: harsh austerity policies and the erosion of labour rights pushed by the conservative government lead to significant rises in poverty and unemployment. The economy dwindled due to the lack of peoples’ spending power.
Today, everything has changed:
“Nowadays, Portugal is considered a prime example among European countries: the economy is booming, unemployment is dropping and investments are rising.”
The first major change occurred during the general election 2015. This was time when the right wing conservative government dismantled the social welfare state piece by piece, which resulted in a furious population voicing their dissatisfaction in the voting booth – causing the conservatives to lose 11 percent of their previous electoral votes.
Costa succeeded in uniting the severely split left wing in Portugal, who now support the minority government led by him. At first, observers were pessimistic about the potential of this constellation, predicting a collapse after a few months. Moreover, both the EU and German minister of finances saw a grave mistake in the departure from austerity.
Angela Merkel described the prospect of a radical anti-austerity coalition in Portugal as “very negative”. The president of Portugal went further, calling non-conservative economic policies a “danger to national security” and attempting to keep the old government in power.
The Portuguese economy has been booming for 4 years. 2017 marked the largest national economic growth of the century.
The Portuguese are not only showing the feasibility of socially conscious policies, but demonstrating the significant potential for success.
“The budget deficit has dropped to its lowest ever since the change to a democratic system in 1974 – simply because the government re-established and strengthened the social welfare state, leading to the Portuguese people having more money to spend.”
The socialists raised the once slashed wages and pensions, reintroduced paid vacations and retracted many tax raises, all while raising wealth taxes which affect only the rich parts of the population. The government also introduced a property and real estate tax designed not to target the homes of average citizens. Costa’s socialists also put an end to the catastrophic privatizations that were once instructed by the EU and resulted in selling state assets at absurdly low prices.
The Germans have been f%$#ing up Europe with their need to run things since 1914.