17 May 2011 - one year ago - the Memorandum of Understanding was signed and Portugal entered the financial rescue mode.
A year after we have
- new government, and a relatively large political consensus on the complying with the commitments set in the Memorandum, including the main opposition party
- lower wages - both in civil service, as the Government imposed a wage cut, and private sector (either negotiation of lower wages or through unemployment spells, taking lower paid jobs
- unemployment at historically high levels
- emigration rising again to levels unseen in peaceful
- public budget cuts
- price increases (transports, electricity)
- tax increases (both income and VAT) (tourists can still have back VAT, under certain conditions)
- give away 4 holidays (two historic dates + two religious dates)
but we also have
- sun and 30º C in May
- good roads and highways (though, rather empty ones, but hey, they are there to use)
- summer music festivals - Bruce Springsteen, Bryan Adams and Stevie Wonder will be at Rock in Rio
- good food, even if we take smaller portions
- exports growing, and to non-traditional markets
- GDP fall was smaller than expected this term (though one number is not yet a change in trend).
And if you want to keep tracking some key numbers in main areas of change under the memorandum of understanding, follow what our students are doing here.