Portugal wants more Refugees to revive abandoned areas
Portugal, known for being a former maritime Empire, with a population of almost 11 million today, is well known for having its populations emigrating elsewhere in Europe. In the last four years, nearly half a million Portuguese have left the country, either permanently or temporarily, particularly sparked by the ravages of the global financial crisis.
The latest interesting news in Europe reveals that the country wants more refugees to come to Portugal, on one hand to help the other European countries, currently struggling to cope, or refusing to let in massive influxes of refugees. On the other, Portugal claims that it will conveniently help revive missing populations, particularly in small villages that have been left practically desert in recent years.
“A large number of Portuguese have emigrated and certain regions need to regain some life.” said Teresa Tito Morais , Head of the Portugese Refugee Council (CPR)
Portugal’s Socialist premier, Antonio Costa, is said to have sent letters to Austria, Greece, Italy and Sweden — countries that have seen refugees arrive in large numbers — offering to welcome up to 5 800 more refugees in addition to the 4 500 they already agreed to take, as part of the European Union’s refugee quota system (Euroactiv).
He also told Brussels that Portugal should “set an example“, enhancing that he was against “a Europe that closes its borders to block access to refugees“.
Portugal has offered to take up to 10 000 migrants- a humble gesture
“The Portuguese are used to emigrating and know what it’s like to look for a better life elsewhere” a refugee council official said (Euoactiv)
In fact, the idea to welcome refugees was launched in September by Braganca, a small town in northeast Portugal, that counts some 35,000 residents, with hopes of reviving its declining populations (Yahoo news).
It is true that Portugal has not been the number one destination in Europe for refugees, and that most have gone to northern European countries, such as Sweden and Denmark (which have begun tightening their borders to minimise the flow of migrants.)
Portugal is little known and “needs to make its voice heard to migrants arriving in Europe”. (Euroactiv)
“The arrival of refugees will benefit the regions in the country that have become deserted” said Teresa Tito Morais