PM Antonio Costa says salaries must increase by 20%

Written By Lara Silva

During the first CNN Portugal Summit, Prime Minister Antonio Costa’s promise to increase salaries by 20% in the next four years was repeatedly questioned. The Prime Minister of Portugal defended the measure and believes it is inevitable in the EU landscape. 

Prime Minister Antonio Costa confessed he was “surprised by the surprise” caused by his support for a 20% increase in salaries in the next four years when the average wage increased by 22% in the last few years. He said, “It is necessary that we maintain the current rate of wage increase that we have seen in the last few years”.

Costa has said there is “no other remedy”, but to increase salaries. He said, “the new generation is not available to work the long hours that companies are used to. Young people do not want to work in a place with authoritarian management and that is uncreative”. 

The Prime Minister reminded the audience that for the first time since the 16th century, the Portuguese have a qualified generation, above the EU average. Antonio Costa said that in the last few years, an effort has been made to decrease school dropout rates and increase the qualifications of young people. The government decreased school dropout rates “from 12.9 to 5%”, reminded Costa.

Mario Centeno, the President of the Bank of Portugal said at the CNN Portugal Summit that “there is no other way to increase income other than through the increase in qualifications”. He also argues that the state should increase the salaries of public workers next year, as long as “inflationary pressures” are not created. 

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