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Lampedusa and Portugal

Duration:
11 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 21 October 2013

In a month that saw hundreds of African migrants lose their lives at sea, while trying to reach the Italian island of Lampedusa, Alan Johnston hears the stories of hardship and survival of some of those who made it ashore in earlier trips. They have come from places as far apart as Syria, Nigeria and Eritrea, and face uncertain futures.

Portugal's multi-billion bailout by the IMF and the EU has led to quite severe budget cuts, with reductions in public sector jobs, salaries, pensions, and raising the retirement age. Youth unemployment is so high, and prospects so low, that many young people are emigrating to Portugal's former colonies, like Mozambique and Brazil. But as Andrew Hosken reports, protests against this situation have lacked the violence of those of Greece. Is there a strain of fatalism, most famously expressed through the music fado, that helps the Portuguese cope, or even accept, what happens to them?

Picture: Migrants on a boat are rescued. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

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