Francelina Goretti Magalhaes Silva dos Santos,46, Porto Portugal

My son has left to go find work in Brazil. I have family there to look after him, but I miss him every day.

He is looking for work in Brazil. But it is very expensive – the legal papers to stay there are costing a lot of money. It’s very expensive – he is trying to become legal so he can find a job.

My younger son, he is a textile designer in a shoe making company. They pay under the minimum wage. They don’t pay the salary in full – it is paid in parts. Right now they are still paying the vacation payment from last year, which means workers are nearly a year behind in getting their pay.

So we have to help him out with basics such as food.
Both children still rely on us.

My husband was a teacher. He retired thinking that we could live off his pension, but now the pension payments are being cut. And with our children still looking for work, that’s two generations dependent on one pension.

How can we live when our pension is slashed like this? We spent our lives working and saving, but now it is very difficult.

What sort of country is this?

In the past we didn’t need our country help us in supporting our children.
Today is harder than before because our children don’t have hope or any independence. It’s impossible for us.

The Government must help support families.

Our politicians know where to get financing but they won’t do it, they tax working people, instead of taxing the rich.

We know we may have to wait two or three years, but we still need some light at the end of the tunnel.

We need something. Portugal is a small country, but we have plenty of means to support ourselves. Look at our products, wine, the port, meat, honey – there are many things to help the banks finance and support small business.

Right now the banks have stopped financing companies. Companies have their own difficulties some times. Interest rates are very high.

Our social welfare – that we have fought for is gradually being lost.
Our democracy is lost.

In the 1960 we all wanted to improve our lives. So we invested in training, now we have skilled people, trained, educated young people, with professions, but the country is letting them leave. So we are becoming an old country with no hope for the future.

Portuguese people love their own country they hope not to leave – they want to work here, but there is no work.

If the government invested in the industries of the country we could turn this around.
Unemployment people can’t spend money.

Stores, business are closing. People don’t buy, people don’t produce, people don’t sell.

I have no faith in politicians. The Troika destroyed the country, destroyed the economy and the life of my people.

We live in fear every day of what austerity is coming next.

I am a mother – and I tell my sons that I want them to stay and work in Portugal. But I begin to see that it is not possible for them. We shouldn’t have to leave our parents to earn a living and get a job.

There is no hope in our country left for our children.

If my son finds work in Brazil – he will bring us to Brazil – a mother wants to be with her children.