Portugal is a country that I’ve always enjoyed, full of warm, welcoming people, excellent wine, and great weather.
I came to Porto, the country’s second largest city of some 1.5 million, to get a sense of what’s been happening since the eurocalypse.
1. Capitulation of hope
Excluding the city’s still-bustling tourist areas, it’s very quiet around the city.
Street-level retail shops and restaurants are either devoid of customers or have been vacated. On many blocks I’ve seen more “for lease” signs than operating businesses.
Officially, the unemployment rate is 15.2% in Portugal, and the economy will contract 3% this year… yet the clear lack of economic activity suggests the real figures are much greater.
Without doubt, reality has set in.
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