The economic and political tightrope walking is going on amid growing social unrest about pay-cuts, job losses, dwindling employment prospects, increasing unemployment rates and higher prices.. A huge turn out is expected in the streets of Lisbon on March 12th to vent public anger and make demands, such as cuts in senior civil servant benefits.
There is disquiet throughout the country, not just Lisbon, and not just among the young. In the Algarve, the major economic activity, the region's 'life-blood' - tourism - is struggling. On top of everything else, Easter, the traditional start of the summer season, is late this year.
Tourism is not going to be helped by the introduction of tolls on the A22 trans-Algarve motorway. The tolls have been denounced by just about everyone in the Algarve - but the government seems determined to impose them anyway – starting on 15th April, exactly a week before Good Friday.