Portugal keeps on sweating

While the Portuguese government approves a package of aid for the victims of the fires, society demands changes

Portugal keeps on sweating

Leer en Español: Portugal suda por el fuego

The Portuguese government approved a package of 130 million euros to help the victims and the reconstruction of the areas affected by the fires that have spread since June. However, this solution comes as a result of the continuous protests of the affected population that demands long-term solutions.

Within this aid package approved by the Portuguese Executive, a smaller part (30 million euros) will be used for the reconstruction of houses and the rest will help companies promote employment in the burned areas, to promote investment plans, and to compensate the families of the victims.

The government of Prime Minister António Costa seems to have been cornered and made the decision to help after thousands of people gathered in Lisbon in solidarity with the victims who demanded effective solutions from the government in the hopes to avoid future catastrophes.

"Everything is failing, prevention, combat, and governments that have passed through our country are failing, I think we all fail", said one of those gathered in the protest to be interviewed by the local media.

In Coimbra, in the central region of the country, one could read banners that called for the "end to the fire business", while in Porto, locals showed gratitude towards the firefighters and rescue teams that helped in the fire extinction.

It is worth remembering that in said protests the messages were written since the clusters were silent to both honor and respect the victims, while showing indignation to the lack of solutions to the tragic events.

In protest of the city of Bragança, near the northern border with Spain, locals preferred to distribute seeds to promote early reforestation of the affected areas; for these participants it is time to eliminate the eucalyptus from the region and plant trees that do not affect groundwater.

In all the demonstrations, which were convened through social networks under the slogan "Portugal against the fires", the silence was the principal tool to make the most notorious and direct call to the authorities.

They were a total of 108 dead over a period of four months; the Portuguese president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, said that given the situation "changes have to be made before the summer wave of next year, both politically and at the practical level."


Latin American Post | Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

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