Home » The Portuguese elections

The Portuguese elections

“What do you think? Is cronyism a stop on the way to corruption?” I ask that question to a few people I know well, because it has been a theme since our previous government was accused of corruption.

Last Sunday were the Portuguese parliamentary elections

The previous government fell because there were serious doubts about the integrity of a number of authorities, including Prime Minister António Costa’s chief of staff. Costa served 4 terms, then fell over a lithium mine. Every politician would like to mine lithium, because that is necessary for the electric revolution, but otherwise the country is populated with Nimbies (not in my backyard).

Europe certainly wants lithium from its own soil, because then we are no longer dependent on foreign countries such as China, with whom is not so easy to eat cherries with. Oh, those foreigners….!!!

Anyway, everyone has gotten involved, wondered about it, laughed and cried about it, commented on it (of course) in newspapers and on social media. And António Costa has withdrawn from politics, although he himself is not being prosecuted, but his chief of staff is. Even Ikea had something to say about that:

Good to keep your books. Or 75.800 euros.

I can imagine that you withdraw after something like that, because it seems to me an almost impossible to uphold your integrity. Plus the reputational damage is likely permanent, whether it’s true or not. What I find special about the chief of staff’s story is that you risk your career for just under 76,000 euros. Nice amount, I won’t spit on it, but I don’t think it’s enough to spend the rest of your life in South America.

Anyway, hence the Portuguese elections last Sunday

And hence my question to various people. “Portugal is quite high on the corruption index,” my eldest son texts, “those lithium mines are quite controversial. Nobody wants to live near that. And it wasn’t any good with the TAP* either. But Costa is not accused.”

Corruption and cronyism are high on the to-do list of André Ventura, the big winner of these elections.

As in so many European countries, we have made a “move to the right”, and so is Chega, the populist party that wants all foreigners out, wants to eradicate crime; more police, less taxes, less misuse of taxpayers’ money due to corruption at the top, far too many civil servants in the middle, and benefit recipients in the bottom segment of the population.

And also less state interference with everything. I’m curious how you bring those things together!

Of course, not all foreigners have to leave. Only those who need help from the government. The others, who can manage themselves and in many cases bring a bag of money, are of course welcome. I wonder how this will continue, because no foreigner is that popular in Lisbon anymore. There are too many of them, and that means that the people of Lisbon can no longer afford a house.

The previous government focused heavily on e-residence – remote workers who live in the city for an x amount of time, spread their money widely around themselves, and in the process create an international atmosphere. This brings the same controversy as the lithium mine: everyone wants it but is a Nimby at the same time. It will be even more difficult for André Ventura to struggle through that.

The result was about a third for the old settled socialists, a third for ditto social democrats (although they have founded a nice Allianz with a number of other small parties, now with “new impetus”!), and the last third was divided between the new right-wing wankers, animal lovers and some other small group, with the former taking the largest share. (sorry to use the word “wankers” – google presented it to me, and though I know what it means, I’ll leave it …)

Apparently something’s going on in Europe?

*TAP is popularly called Take Another Plane – the Portuguese airline, which also recently had a scandal. If you want to know more, ask Google. I don’t write journalism, but hopefully entertaining, insignificant little stories.


We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal.

A big step, especially with two small children.

We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday houses, rooms and a campsite.

You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation

You can subscribe to this blog- see at the right side of this page »

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook, on Pinterest and on Instagram.