Portugal is scrapping its long-standing rent controls in one of the government's most radical economic and social reforms since the ailing country needed a euro 78 billion bailout last year, when it was engulfed by Europe's financial crisis. Critics say the anticipated rent hikes from next month could price thousands of families out of their homes. At the very least, the change aimed at boosting and modernizing the economy, will add to the financial burden on those struggling to cope with pay cuts and tax hikes designed to ease the country's crippling debt load.
associated press/September 2012
Luis Menezes Leitao, president of the Lisbon Property Owners' Association, looks out of the window of his office at the association's headquarters in Lisbon's upper-class Principe Real neighborhood during an interview.
associated press/July 2012
A sign on the window of an apartment building announces "for rent," next to another building being renovated, in downtown Lisbon.