On the sidelines of the European summit where the 27 pledged to build a more social Europe, thousands of protesters took to the streets on Saturday 8 May in Porto, northern Portugal, to denounce unemployment, instability or privatization.
«If they have social interests, then there is no need for a summit but concrete actions on the ground. Corporations, we know they have no social concerns», Testified to AFP by Telmo Silva.
Influenced by the mass dismissal of 150 employees from a major refinery in the country that has recently ceased operations, this 36-year-old accuses his 15-year-old employer, Portuguese energy group Galp, of “Taking advantage of the energy transition to eliminate jobs, cut wages and withdraw rights».
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, has repeatedly said that the Social Summit in Porto should specifically reassure Europeans.
To see, too European Union leaders want to make “the social aspect a top priority,” says Ursula von der Leyen
After a series of meetings with representatives of trade unions and employers on Friday, European Union leaders agreed on Saturday to “work planAbout the social file submitted by the commission at the beginning of March.
«The workers consider that the necessary answers have not been provided. We must fight against the politics of low wages, instability and deterioration of public servicesSaid Isabel Camarinha, Secretary General of the General Union of Portuguese Workers (CGTP), who organized the demonstration on Saturday.
«This European summit is disappointing. This resulted in a series of goodwill and not a single tangible step», Announced the leader of the Leftist Bloc (Radical Left) party, which joined the parade after holding a counter-summit with other leaders of the European anti-liberal left.
Among the demonstrators. “3000 at leastAccording to a police source, Leonor Galamba traveled from the Lisbon suburbs to demand an increase in the minimum wage she would earn by working part-time in telemarketing.
The idea of an upward convergence of the European Union minimum wage was one of the topics raised by the leaders gathered in Porto, but it was also one of those facing the divisions between European countries.