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The Globe and Mail

In Lisbon slum, the poorest bear brunt of austerity measures

As Portugal slashes its budget to please international lenders, there are no longer any public funds to erase a scar of shanties that would not look out of place in Mumbai or Soweto.

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A woman hangs her laundry out to dry at the Terras do Lelo slum in Caparica, near Lisbon, April 11, 2013. The slum’s plywood and corrugated iron shacks have no legal electricity, no sewers and no running water.

RAFAEL MARCHANTE/REUTERS

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Jose Manuel Isidoro, 92, and his wife Maria do Carmo, 90, pose for a portrait in their shack at Terras do Lelo slum in Caparica, where they have lived for eighty years. Plans to relocate the slum’s residents in 2008 had to be abandoned when the financial crisis struck.

RAFAEL MARCHANTE/REUTERS

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Miguel Mendes, 43, unemployed and originally from Cape Verde, checks the status of the roof of his shack at Terras do Lelo. Mr. Mendes has lived in the slum since 1988.

RAFAEL MARCHANTE/REUTERS

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Mr. Mendes carries containers to collect water from a public fountain half a kilometre away.

RAFAEL MARCHANTE/REUTERS

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Elias Viera, 58, unemployed and originally from Cape Verde, stands at the door of his shack in Terras do Lelo, where he has lived since 1999.

RAFAEL MARCHANTE/REUTERS

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A child plays with a toy gun in the Terras do Lelo slum.

RAFAEL MARCHANTE/REUTERS

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Elsewhere in Lisbon, a gardener walks past a wall with graffiti that reads, “Pray for Portugal” and “Good Lord release us from those corrupt pigs that raged across Portugal” in Lisbon April 9, 2013. Portuguese will suffer from cuts to schools and hospitals to protect civil service benefits after the constitutional court rejected austerity measures that would have reduced public sector perks.

JOSE MANUEL RIBEIRO/REUTERS

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Mr. Mendes poses for a portrait in his shack at Terras do Lelo slum in Caparica, near Lisbon.

RAFAEL MARCHANTE/REUTERS

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Elsewhere in Lisbon, a tram travels through a street in the Alfama neighbourhood April 9, 2013. The poverty of the Terras do Lelo slum may be extreme, but the one-two punch of budget austerity and recession is being felt across Portugal, a nation of 10.6 million.

RAFAEL MARCHANTE/REUTERS

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A woman shakes a rug in Lisbon's Alfama neighbourhood. The government is scrambling to come up with an additional €1.3-billion in savings, amounting to 0.8 per cent of GDP.

RAFAEL MARCHANTE/REUTERS

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A city cleaner works near a wall with graffiti that reads “International Monetary Fund + Unemployment + Poverty + Precariousness + Privatization” in Bobadela, Portugal, April 10, 2013.

HUGO CORREIA/REUTERS

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A woman passes a wall with a graffiti of Portugal’s Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho in Lisbon April 9, 2013. Front-page headlines on Thursday reported that everything from school lunches to police patrols and health inspections were being curtailed.

JOSE MANUEL RIBEIRO/REUTERS

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