Antonio Costa, the half-Indian and current prime-minister of Portugal, last Wednesday made a strong defence of the entry of more immigrants into Portugal and more effective policies to support their integration, and above all, to combat ‘racism’. The socialist leader defends: “An open, cosmopolitan and integrated country for all.” For all except the native Portuguese, of course.
In a speech he made at the Caboverdeana Association (association of Cape Verdian immigrants), before a lunch with almost a hundred and a half people, Costa recalled the work done by the Socialist Party, and by himself, to policies against racism and openness to immigrants, he pointed his finger at what he called ‘mistakes’ of right-wing governments – who barred immigrants and limited their entry into the country – and promised to move what they still see as obstacles to a more open and capable country.
In the Socialist proposals for the next mandate, Costa highlighted the separation between the fight against racism and the entry and integration of immigrants. Because racism, he stressed, exists in Portugal and is not directed only against those who come from abroad, but against those who are different. “It’s not the colour of the skin that gives it nationality. Black or Asian Portuguese must be protected against racism even though they are not immigrants in their own land, ”said Costa.
The fight against racism, he argued, must be reinforced, because even when it is not in the law, it “exists in the most subliminal form and we do not realize it.” Examples? Only in 2015 did Portugal have a black person in government (in this case, black – the Minister of Justice), or the way in which “it is so easily spoken of Gypsies as if they were foreigners”.
This sort of speech, typical of Mr Costa and foreigners with Portuguese nationality is clear that minorities once let into a country, want to keep their feet on the doors in order for more immigrants like themselves may enter.
Costa’s Socialist party, however, is doing very well. Even with this very controversial and unpopular proposal of even more immigration to the country, the party is polling somewhere between 35% and 40%, granting perhaps an absolute majority in the country. Not even the consecutive wildfires that killed more than 100 people in 2017 or their countless nepotism or corruption scandals sway their boomer electorate who is hungry for higher pensions or the public servants who were promised higher wages if he is elected.
Portugal, Pitagórica poll:
PS-S&D: 35% (-3)
PSD-EPP: 29% (+1)
BE-LEFT: 9% (-1)
CDU-LEFT/G/EFA: 8% (+2)
CDS/PP-EPP: 5% (+1)
L-G/EFA: 2% (+1)
+/- vs. 25–28 Sept. 2019
— Europe Elects (@EuropeElects) September 30, 2019