Why should those who left get a bonus?
Jornal de Noticias
With an election coming up next year, the Socialists have decided to swell the ranks of their voters by offering a bribe, said Nuno Melo. Two million Portuguese—1 citizen in 5—live abroad, the highest share in the European Union. Now the prime minister, António Costa, has proposed that any of the 500,000 emigrants who left during our 2011–15 economic disaster should get several years of hefty tax breaks if they return home to Portugal before 2021. Costa is insinuating that the Portuguese were right to flee while his center-right opponents were in power. But the Socialist Party leader seems to have forgotten that his predecessors were elected only because Socialist governments had “plundered the country” to the point that the EU and the International Monetary Fund forced us into austerity. Now that the hard part is done and Costa has come to power and found everything better, has he also forgotten that while some left—like António Horta-Osório, now the highest-paid banker in London—many more Portuguese stayed behind to rebuild the country? Why should these hardworking people, who have already been living on reduced wages for years, have to pay their full taxes while those who ran off to cushy jobs abroad get a break?