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A Worrying Picture of Madeira is Emerging

Today MEP João Ferreira ended his three-day tour of the Madeiran archipelago as part of his Candidacy for the Presidency of the Republic.  The Portuguese Communist Party supported candidate went on to say that throughout his fact finding tour of the island he has seen a ‘worrying evolution of unemployment and a significant reduction in the income of workers and their families.’

During the inauguration of the Francisco Simões Arts Centre where he met the sculptor Francisco Simões, he said that artists to are suffering from the effects of the pandemic in common with many others. Culture is of vital importance to personal development and the development of society as a whole. He went on to say that culture “is too often forgotten and in the current situation many cultural workers face considerable difficulties. Our national creators must be guaranteed conditions to develop their work, to allow them to flourish and not force them to stand still and create difficulties on top of those they are already enduring.  We need to create conditions to protect people’s mental and physical health, and  ensure that life does not stop. Life in all its dimensions: political, economic, social and cultural must continue and be allowed to flourish. If not, ultimately, it will be everyone’s well-being and health that will suffer”

In a more general assessment of his trip to Madeira, João Ferreira said it was “a very promising visit, which among other things allowed him to talk to the Union of Trade Unions, which provided him with a better understanding of workers conditions, the worrying evolution of unemployment and the  significant reduction in the income of workers and their families.”

He also noted, “that there is evidence of abuse due to the pandemic with an increase in the exploitation of workers, the deregulation of schedules, to misuse of provisions introduced to help workers such as the lay-off.

In other words, “I saw a worrying picture, from a social point of view, with the growth of situations of poverty, exclusion… a very worrying picture that I take from here all of which justify the attention, sensitivity and intervention of the President of the Republic.”

Samantha Gannon

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