new immigrants. Italian, French and German attracted by the Portuguese atmosphere

new immigrants.  Italian, French and German attracted by the Portuguese atmosphere

Elena Russo is an Italian from Tuscany, from a small village near Florence. He is 33 years old and has been in Portugal for three months. They quickly obtained a residence permit, an easy process for EU citizens who represent a good portion of the 109,000 new residents in the country. She hails from Lisbon and is one of 5307 Italians who immigrated to Portugal last year, members of the community most represented in the new visas. The French and Germans follow.

“I’m doing a sort of tour of Europe. I lived in the United Kingdom, Holland, Spain, now in Portugal. I started working in a call center, but I didn’t like it and I came to this restaurant. I like contact with clients and I work in the center of Lisbon, I can see how the Portuguese live, I also have many Italian colleagues”, explains Elena Russo.

She’s a waitress at the Waldo Gatti Pizzeria in Bairro Alto, which last Friday was full despite it being a quiet night. Portuguese and foreign on the table, Italians in the kitchen and in the service. Elena will stay in Lisbon for now, she argues: “I love everything in Portugal, the food, the people, the climate, it has a great atmosphere. The people are very happy.” If I had to choose a country to stay in for a long time, it would be Portugal or Scotland. Lower wages than in Italy are no deterrent, as it says it is offset by lower cost of living.

workers and families

In 2021, the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) granted 109,000 new residence permits for a total of 771,000 foreigners in the country, according to provisional data from DN’s Access. Of these, 27,318 went to EU citizens, most of whom were from Italy (5,307), France (4,750) and Germany (3,937). In 2020, there was a large influx of Italians, but the British, who have been out of the EU since 2020, stood out more.

And, not to mention the tourists, it seems that it is the resident foreigners who dominate Lisbon nightlife.

About the author: Cory Weinberg

"Student. Subtly charming organizer. Certified music advocate. Writer. Lifelong troublemaker. Twitter lover."

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