Current Events

Close Parliaments not Businesses

It is bizarre beyond words that crowded parliament that produces nothing but hot air function whilst the detritus within such walls kneel on the throats of European small businesses, allowing only the super-rich corporations to carry on as normal.

Restaurant, bar, and nightclub owners are staging an on-going protest against the Portuguese government and its crushing Covid restrictions outside the national parliament on Tuesday, it is today the sixth day of their hunger strike.

The nine business owners claim that anti-coronavirus restrictions brought in by the government have crippled the hospitality industry, while the state has failed to support those most impacted by the measures.

The demonstrators, who are camped outside the Palácio de São Bento, the home of Portugal’s parliament, say they will not eat until they are personally met by the prime minister and the economy minister. 

‘How can we sustain a company that isn’t earning any money but has to pay taxes, pay for light, water?’ asked Jose Gouveia, a nightclub owner and spokesman for the movement known as A Pão e Água (Bread and Water). 

Restaurant owner João Sotto Mayor says, ‘It’s just insolvencies, insolvencies.’  He added, many businesses depend on this time of the year to survive. It’s incredibly important that next weekend we return to normal opening hours.’

While bars and nightclubs have been permanently closed since March, restaurants were allowed to reopen in May. However, a new curfew and weekend lockdown, which came into effect on November 8, has angered restaurateurs, with many worried their businesses won’t be able to survive until the end of the pandemic.  Source

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