|Photos taken by Isabel Camarinha, my friend, at Oporto, where at least 80.000 people gathered to protest.|
"I'm from the generation without pay
and this condition does not bother me.
What a fool I am!
Because it’s bad and will go on,
I’m already lucky if I could get an internship.
What a fool I am!
And I'm thinking,
what a silly world this is
where to be a slave one must study."
It gave origin to a large debate by Portuguese society, common citizens, opinion makers, politician analysts and politicians about young people condition. This debate will go on now as Facebook's Manifesto results were better than organizers expected. Demonstration numbers also made clear that internet and social networks are a powerful tool. In my opinion the causes to this grim situation are complex. The economic crisis does not explain it all. It was bad already before economic crisis, now it is worse. Lack of Government vision and Education planning led many youngsters to invest their time in superior education courses that can’t match the society needs. My course is a good example. I went to Law School back in the 80s. Back then Coimbra’s University admitted 400 new Law students every year. I don’t know how many Law Schools we have in Portugal, too many, I’m afraid. High percentage of those qualified boys and girls can’t find a job in their expertise area. I also believe that Portuguese are not trained in entrepreneurship and still rely very much on getting a job instead of searching opportunities to create a job. My parents’ generation was obsessed with the idea of getting a higher education for their kids as they saw that an automatic passport to a better life. Not anymore. Things have changed. I also feel that this is a sign of death of capitalism. The system is dead. What will come next?