This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Pain Bites Into Portuguese Life As Crisis Deepens

By BARRY HATTON

LISBON, Portugal (AP) â¿¿ Serving a frugal lunch in their kitchen not much bigger than a bathroom, Pedro and Elena Baptista spoon stewed chicken feet onto their boiled potatoes and leave the slightly meatier wings for their 12-year-old daughter, Vania, and 7-year-old son, Joao.

The Baptista family counts itself among the casualties of an unrelenting financial crisis that is squeezing the life out of some European Union economies, including Portugal. Pedro Baptista, a stocky 37-year-old, has found work as a part-time window cleaner but his wife Elena, 35, has been on welfare for almost a year after losing her job in a school canteen. Scraping by on a monthly household income of ⿬650 ($840) and constantly going cap-in-hand to charities and family members has sapped their confidence.

But Pedro is determined to stay positive. "Ups and downs are part of life. Things will improve," he says. "We just have to hold on."

Exactly how long is hard to say, however, as Portugal's prime minister warns his nation to harden itself for more austerity.

It seems that every time Europe's leaders appear to have contained the continent's 3-year-old crisis over too much government debt, it erupts again â¿¿ witness the recent woes in Cyprus. Across Europe, the long-held belief that the state will always provide for its citizens' well-being is vanishing.

In return for rescue loans, governments across the region are slashing spending and raising taxes. However, the austerity has a knock-on effect of choking the growth needed to pull countries out of their nosedive. Despite the acute hardship, Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho said Sunday that his government must cut even deeper. That's because the Constitutional Court last week struck down some austerity measures aimed at government workers and pensioners, denying the government more than 1.3 billion euros in anticipated savings.

1 of 6

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

DOW 18,046.04 -185.98 -1.02%
S&P 500 2,105.81 -20.25 -0.95%
NASDAQ 5,035.4490 -53.9130 -1.06%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs