On the last day of the year, the President of the Republic visited a parish center in Costa da Caparica and made a portrait of contemporary Portugal, which is younger and richer because of immigration.
At 12 chimes and the start of 2022, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa visited the Parish Social Center of Nossa Senhora da Conceição da Costa da Caparica, Almada municipality, to learn about the stories of various immigrants.
A Syrian family that recently arrived in Portugal, after a decade in Egypt where a part of the family still remains, an Italian citizen, less than a year in Portugal and who left Bologna for Almada, and a Venezuelan woman, who left all behind and found on this side of the Tagus bank a new life.
The President of the Republic was faced with a cultural mix that is the portrait of Portugal today and highlighted that these citizens are those who contribute the most and those who least fall behind.
“Looking at the numbers, I was impressed myself. It shows a leap in the number of immigrants from 2019 to 2021. We were over half a million and we are close to 700,000. It’s a very significant number and this increase has effects on all of our lives.” , he maintained.
One of them, he continued, is that there is a “Portuguese society that is younger, largely because of migrants”.
Immigrants also “contribute much more money than what they take”, something that Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said was “impressive”.
“For Social Security, in proportion, they contribute much more than the Portuguese, and, therefore, there are changes that are taking place in Portuguese society, which is aging, which is often less dynamic because of this capacity for renewal and integration (…) enriches the country”, he said.
For the President of the Republic “it is a sign of the future”.
On the day of the year, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa went to meet and hear the problems these immigrants are faced with and returned to the typical ‘selfies’, a habit that had fallen into disuse because of the pandemic.
But today, there was time and space for a photo with the entire group.