Thousands demonstrate against joblessness during EU summit in Porto
Share article:
Share article:

Thousands demonstrate against joblessness during EU summit in Porto

At least 3,000 people took part in the demonstrations. Credit: Belga

Thousands of protesters marched through the streets of Porto, northern Portugal, on Saturday to denounce unemployment, poverty and privatisations.

According to local police, at least 3,000 persons took part in the demonstrations, held in the same town where, on Friday and Saturday, EU heads of State and Government made commitments to work towards a more social Europe.

“If they have social concerns, it’s not a summit that’s needed, but concrete actions on the ground,” French news agency AFP quoted laid-off oil worker Telmo Silva as saying. ”We know companies have no social concerns.”

Silva was one of 150 employees who lost their jobs recently when a major oil refinery in Portugal closed down. The 36-year-old accuses Galp, the company that employed him for 15 years, of “using the energy transition to eliminate jobs, cut salaries and scrap benefits.”

Related News


Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, had stated on multiple occasions that the Porto social summit was meant to reassure Europeans.

After a series of discussions with representatives of trade unions and employers’ associations on Friday, EU leaders on Saturday approved an “action plan” on social issues that had been presented in early March by the European Commission.

“The workers feel the necessary answers have not been given,” said Isabel Camarinha, secretary-general of the General Confederation of Portuguese Workers, CGTP, which organised Saturday’s protest. “We have to fight against this policy of low salaries, poverty and the deteriorating public services.”

“This European summit is a disappointment; it has resulted in a series of good intentions and not a single concrete measure,” added the leader of the Left Bloc, who joined the demonstration after a counter-summit with other leaders of the anti-Liberal European left.

The idea of harmonising minimum wages in the EU by reviewing upward those at the lower end of the scale was discussed by the heads in Porto, but it is also one of the issues on which European countries are divided.

The Brussels Times

Latest news

More politicians than ordinary citizens at the Conference on the Future of Europe
The second Plenary of the Conference took place on Saturday in the European Parliament in Strasbourg and discussed the contributions from the ...
Belgium’s Consultative Committee to meet on Tuesday
The next meeting of Belgium's Consultative Committee, scheduled for Friday, has been brought forward to Tuesday at 4:30 PM, according to local media ...
Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Unilever are world’s biggest plastic polluters
Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Unilever were found to be the world's biggest polluters of plastic in a report published by Branded on Monday. Over 11,000 ...
Four men charged with illegally buying thousands of live ducks to hunt on private land
Four Belgian men will appear in court on Monday facing charges related to the purchase of thousands of ducks, which were then released into a private ...
More wolf attacks: 15 deer killed at family resort over the weekend
Fifteen deer were killed by wolves in the Belgian province of Limburg this weekend, between Saturday night and Sunday morning. The deer were ...
Cost of breast cancer still too high for many patients
Breast cancer still carries too high a cost for patients when one in nine women in Belgium will face the disease before reaching 75, according to a ...
Gare Maritime: Brussels’ most exciting new architectural project
A generation ago, the Gare Maritime in the Tour & Taxis industrial site was an abandoned wasteland. It is now a model for urban renewal and ...
Belgium in Brief: Rules For A Fourth Wave
It's the news that nobody wants to hear, but here we go again. Belgium’s council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss ...
Belgian grandparents to walk across Scotland for COP26
A group of Belgian grandparents has set off on a 100 km hike that will take them from Belgium to the Scottish city of Glasgow, just ahead of the ...
Rise in fuel prices will bring Belgian State €547 million in tax, say Workers Party
The sharp rise in fuel prices that have been felt across the continent will bring an additional €547 million to the Belgian State, the Workers' Party ...
Amid backlash, Brussels police chief promises to do better for sexual assault victims
After multiple rallies against sexual violence took place in Brussels last week, with victims offering testimony of poor treatment from police when ...
Person hit by train in Brussels
A person was hit by a train in the tunnel between Brussels North and Brussels Central at around 10:20 AM on Monday, railway network manager Infrabel ...