Yellow vest protests exported to Portugal?
Portuguese protesters have called for nationwide road blockades emulating the French yellow vest protests for today, Friday. Without the support of parties or trade unions they are using the social networks to mobilise the population with widely diverging demands. Commentators are alarmed.
Don't ignore confused protest movement
Jornal de Negócios examine the demands being used to justify this Friday's protests:
“On Facebook there are appeals to demonstrate against 'corrupt politicians', 'against the capitalists who control the politicians, the newspapers and the social networks', but there are also appeals to 'eradicate the radical left'. It seems any means are legitimate to promote this phantom demonstration - including demands that are apparently incongruous. ... This kind of demonstration and the waves it is making are proof of the fragility of civil society and the urgent need to change our political culture and adjust it to new requirements.”
The socialist MEP Francisco Assis has a clear message for the protesters in Público:
“The demonstration shows clearly how a combination of populism, resentment and demagogy can lead to a discourse that doesn't fulfil the fundamental ethical or intellectual requirements. ... The folkloristic imitators of the Gallic 'yellow vests' in Portugal must not benefit from any kind of political concessions. The things they are chanting, proposing and demanding are based on an oversimplified representation of the economic, social and political reality. ... Their stance is irreconcilable with the free and pluralist perspective of modern democracies.”