L'anthologie of Global Inestabilidad Transpuesta - Social and Economic Instabilidade - Portugal (Part 13)

Transposing Emblem by Antonia Sousa
 
We have been hearing about instability in Portugal since we were born. It is true! Whether we are 80 or 18 years old, we have heard it or experienced it one or many times during our lives. We, the Portuguese, come into this world within an unstable and faulty health care system; we are educated in a decaying school system; we grow up knowing there are no real career prospects and that we might have to emigrate to other countries in order to make a decent living – more than 20% of the Portuguese population is living in another country, representing a staggering 2.3 million people (“Mais de dois milhões de portugueses estão emigrados”).
Porto, Portugal: Cityscape across the Douro River
The world is constantly changing and it appears the only constant in our lives is the instability in every aspect of our society. Pedro Nuno Santos, the Portuguese Secretary of State for Parliamentary Affairs, has proposed the idea of Portugal being “an island of political, economic and social stability" (Portugal é uma ilha de estabilidade política e social). The only ones not seeing it are the Portuguese people who are tired of struggling and hearing the scare tactics that culminate with nothing to show.
Porto, Portugal: Street view
According to the Portuguese National Statistics Institute, the unemployment rate in the third quarter of 2016 was 10.5% (Instituto Nacional de Estatística). This number is frightening, and people are constantly afraid of losing their jobs. Combined with a minimum wage of 530 a month and many families having just one source of income, emotional instability becomes the norm and contributes to poor mental health in many households.
Lisbon, Portugal: Artists at the Cais das Colunas
The errors of the past have not been assimilated, understood or used to improve the country. Most of the politicians and lawmakers are still more interested in creating ways to defend the rich and powerful; the justice system does not work equally for everyone; schools, hospitals and health centers are still being closed for unjustifiable reasons. People are being punished with austerity and sacrifices, being forced to pay for something they do not owe, for something they did not do. 
Lisbon, Portugal: Graffiti of traditional Portuguese fado
There should be more opportunities for entrepreneurship and aid and stronger export incentives, so people can “test run” their ideas and projects. This would definitely give the Portuguese economy a well-deserved and long-awaited boost. Programs need to be created to give everyone the opportunity to expand their horizons – the existing programs are very limited in terms of funds, and the conditions are very hard to fulfill, making them accessible to just a few. It makes the impression that the incentive programs have been created to “serve” interests and limit candidates to just those who are “interesting.” In Portugal, great ideas are kept in a drawer because people that had them cannot access credit or financing or they just don’t fulfill every single condition required.

The lack of opportunities for entrepreneurship is an obstacle to social development, and those that create the opportunity for themselves often face high taxes, causing many of them to fail in their attempts to move forward and “survive.”
Portugal: Pebbles stacked with people
In the words of the President of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, “[…] people […] are the true origin of power […] and they demand political stability which is crucial for economic and social stability […] Let common sense prevail over emotions” (Henriques). We all have to work for a common purpose, and that includes all politicians that we have elected. It is counterproductive when politicians fight with each other, and all they accomplish is to let people know their goal is to win the next election. I like to say that politicians are “there” for the money – the funding of candidates, campaigns, political parties is sometimes obscure – and for the “extras” (extra car, extra phone, extra meals, extra salary, extra housing, etc.). It would be a good idea to take a good look at the Swedish political system – Swedish politicians are an integral and active part of the population with no perks, no privileges. There is no reason for taxpayers’ money to be used to give politicians any kind of luxury. If that system was implemented worldwide, the only politicians that would exist would be the ones that want to work for the people and with the people in finding solutions for their internal and external problems.
Portugal: Beach cemetery
The leaders of other countries have also said that the political instability in Portugal is not an example to be followed by anyone in the EU and that the country is suffering as a result of it. “Portugal is paying a ‘horrible’ price for its political instability and Ireland should not follow in its path on the way to economic recovery,” Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny told voters at a campaign event ahead of the February 26 elections (Oliveira).
Faro, Portugal: Capela dos ossos at the Igreja do Carmo
Let us all take steps into the future and make our Portugal a welcoming, well-structured, socially, economically and politically stable place to give ourselves the opportunity to be an awesome country to live in. We all have what it takes to make this happen!


The emblem in postcards exhibited at 1080 Brew


More original version
Social and Economic Instabilidade: Portugal

Transposing Emblem by Antonia Sousa
The emblem in postcards exhibited at 1080 Brew
We have been hearing about instability in Portugal since we were born. It is true! Whether we are 80 or 18 years old, we have heard it or experienced it one or many times during our lives. We, the Portuguese, come into this world within an unstable and faulty health care system; we go into a decaying school system; we grow up knowing there are no real career prospects and that we might have to emigrate to other countries in order to make a decent living. More than 20% of the Portuguese population is living in another country, which represents a staggering 2.3 million people (“Mais de dois milhões de portugueses estão emigrados”).
 
The world is constantly changing and it appears the only constant in our lives is the instability in every aspect of our society. An idea defended by Pedro Nuno Santos, the Portuguese Secretary of State for Parliamentary Affairs, is that Portugal “is an island of political, economic and social stability" (Portugal é uma ilha de estabilidade política e social). The only ones not seeing it are the Portuguese people that are tired of struggling and scarifying with nothing to show for it.
 
According to the Portuguese National Statistics Institute - Instituto Nacional de Estatística (INE) the unemployment rate in the third quarter of 2016 is 10.5% (Instituto Nacional de Estatística). This number is frightening and people are constantly afraid of losing their jobs. Combined with a minimum wage of 530 € a month with many families having just one income, emotional instability settles and contributes to poor mental health in many households.
 
The errors of the past have not been assimilated, understood or used to improve the country. Most politicians and lawmakers are still more interested in creating ways to defend the rich and powerful; the justice system does not work equally for everyone; schools, hospitals and health centres are still being closed for unjustifiable reasons. People are being punished with austerity and sacrifices, being forced to pay for something they do not owe, for something they did not do.
 
There should be more entrepreneurship opportunities and aids and stronger export incentives, so that people could give their ideas and projects a “test run”. This would definitely give Portuguese economy a well-deserved and long-awaited boost. Programs should be created giving everyone the opportunity to expand their horizons – the existing programs are very limited in terms of funds and the conditions are very hard to fulfil, making them accessible to just a few. It makes the impression that the incentive programs have been created to “serve” interests and limit candidates to just those who are “interesting.” In Portugal, great ideas are kept in a drawer, because people that had them cannot access credit or financing or they just don’t fulfil every single condition required.

The lack of entrepreneurship opportunities is an obstacle to social development, and those that create the opportunity for themselves often face high tax burdens, making many of them fail in their attempts to move forward and “survive.”
 
In the words of the President of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, “… people… are the true origin of power… and they demand political stability which is crucial for economic and social stability… Let common sense prevail over emotions” (Henriques). We all have to work for a common purpose, and that includes all politicians that we have elected. It is counterproductive when politicians fight with each other and all they accomplish is to let people know their goal is to win the next election. I like to say that politicians are “there” for the money – the funding of candidates, campaigns, political parties is sometimes obscure – and for the “extras” (extra car, extra phone, extra meals, extra salary, extra housing, etc.). It would be a good idea to take a good look at the Swedish system of government – Swedish politicians are an integral and active part of the population with no perks, no privileges. There is no reason for taxpayers’ money to be used to give politicians any kind of luxury. If that system was implemented worldwide, the only politicians that would exist would be the ones that want to work for the people and with the people in finding solutions for their internal and external problems.
 
The leaders of other countries have also said that the political instability in Portugal is not an example to be followed by anyone in the EU and that the country is suffering as a result of it. “Portugal is paying a ‘horrible’ price for its political instability and Ireland should not follow in its path on the way to economic recovery,” Ireland’s Prime Minister Enda Kenny told voters at a campaign event ahead of the February 26 elections (Oliveira).
 
Let us all take steps into the future and make our country a welcoming, well-structured and socially, economically and politically stable place to give ourselves the opportunity to be an awesome country to live in. We all have what it takes to make this happen!




Works cited

Henriques, Joao Pedro et al. “Marcelo desafia a direita a encontrar novas soluções.” DN. April 26, 2016. Web: January 8, 2017
Mais de dois milhões de portugueses estão emigrados.” tvi24. July 19, 2015. Web: January 8, 2017.
Oliveira, Ivo. “Irish PM: We don’t want to be Portugal.” Politico. February 15, 2016. Web: January 8, 2017.
Portugal é uma ilha de estabilidade política e social.” Economia. November 11, 2016. Web: January 8, 2017


Institutions cited

Instituto Nacional de Estatística. Unemployment rate. November 9, 2016. Web: Jan. 8, 2016.


Credits

Photo 1: Sintra, Portugal: Quinta da Regaleira by Rechitans
Photo 2: Porto, Portugal: Cityscape across the Douro River by Sean Pavone Photo
Photo 3: Porto, Portugal: Street view by Ilolab
Photo 4: Lisbon, Portugal: Artists at the Cais das Colunas by Magdalena Paluchowska
Photo 5: Lisbon, Portugal: Graffiti of traditional Portuguese fado by Krasnevsky
Photo 6: Portugal: Pebbles stacked with people by Studio images
Photo 7: Portugal: Beach cemetery by Sergoua
Photo 8: Faro, Portugal: Capela dos ossos at the Igreja do Carmo by Amnat

Parts of the Emblem of Instability
Nastou, Eliza.  Psychological Αστάθεια and Inestabilidad during the Economic Crisis: Greece and Spain. December 2016.
Partykowska, Natalia. Niestabilność and адсутнасць стабільнасці in the Arts: Polish and Belarusian Theater. January 2017.
Persio, P.L.F. Social Instabilità and Instabiliteit: Italy and the Netherlands. November 2016.
Romano, Mavi. Unstable Identities: Ecuador and Europe. October 2016. 
Walton, Éva. Historical and Psychological Bizonytalanság within Hungarian Culture. January 2017.
Zadrożna-Nowak, Amelia. Economic Instability: Poles at Home and the Polish Diaspora. November 2016.


To follow: texts by Argentinian, Portuguese, Indian, Spanish, Brazilian, Russian, Guatemalan writers and translators


Further reading

Friedrich, Angelika. The Emblem of Instability. September 2016.
Whittlesey, Henry. Forward to Next Transposing Emblem. January 2016. 
Whittlesey, Henry. Changes to Transposing Emblems. November 2015.
Whittlesey, Henry. Excerpt of new emblem transpoзиция on trash. September 2015.


Post a Comment