Returning emigrants could overwhelm Portugal, analysts say

AP News
Posted: Jul 31, 2015 10:01 AM

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portuguese analysts are warning that the country's feeble economy and overburdened welfare programs are at risk from a potentially massive return of emigrants who left in search of jobs during the eurozone's recent financial crisis.

Portuguese-speaking countries such as Angola and Brazil, which have drawn tens of thousands of Portuguese workers in recent years, face economic difficulties, including rising unemployment.

Lisbon Stock Exchange researchers said in a report published Friday that the emigrants' return "could create additional stress (for) the Portuguese social welfare (system) and could hinder the recovery of an already fragile economy."

The number of Portuguese registered in Angola jumped from around 72,700 in 2008 to some 126,300 in 2014, according to data compiled by Portugal's government-funded Emigration Observatory. Falling oil prices have hurt the Angolan economy.