Floods in Portugal: politicians to blame?

Portugal has experienced a week of heavy rain and flooding, with Lisbon being particularly hard hit. The capital's City Council has issued a red alert, hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes, and roads and tunnels have been closed. Unsurprised, commentators list the causes.

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Jornal de Notícias (PT) /

A consequence of willy-nilly urban planning

Jornal de Notícias blames the lack of land planning for the floods:

“Sealing off the soil is the rule, whether it's with the cement of buildings, the tar of roads or the correction of watercourses. ... People settling in flood plains is the rule rather than the exception, because after all, there is no better advertisement for a new property investment than an unobstructed view of the river or the sea. ... And then there's climate change, which is once again making itself felt in this schizophrenic alternation between extreme drought and flooding.”

Correio da Manhã (PT) /

Like a Third World country

Politicians must do more to prepare Lisbon for heavy rains, Correio da Manhã demands:

“The picture we are seeing is that of a Third World country. When the rain starts to fall, the capital that spent millions on the Web Summit [an annual technology conference] looks less like a European city than a Latin American favela. Urban planning in Portugal doesn't go beyond good intentions. We don't respect the watercourses, we seal off the ground. Projects like underground tunnels in Lisbon, which would absorb the excess water, drag on for decades. ... The images of flooding are the result of decades of neglect and negligence.”