Portuguese criticise Lisbon mayor over pricey altar for Pope By Reuters
World 52 minutes ago (Jan 25, 2023 01:36PM ET)
(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Mayor of Lisbon Carlos Moedas speaks during the opening ceremony of Web Summit, Europe’s largest technology conference, in Lisbon, Portugal, November 1, 2021. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes/File Photo
By Catarina Demony
LISBON (Reuters) – Lisbon’s mayor has been sharply criticised on Portuguese social media after it was revealed his office would spend over 5 million euros ($5.4 million) to build an altar for Pope Francis to celebrate a mass at this year’s World Youth Day.
The Portuguese capital will host from Aug. 1-6 the international festival bringing together the Pope and hundreds of thousands of young Catholics from all over the world.
Observador newspaper reported on Tuesday the mayor’s office had hired the country’s largest construction company, Mota-Engil, to build the altar for 4.2 million euros. Details of the deal were published on an official database for public contracts.
Foundations needed for the altar’s roof, to be built by Oliveiras S.A, will cost an extra 1 million euros, according to the contract.
“The specifications for the stage were defined in meetings we had with World Youth Day, the Church and the Holy See,” said Lisbon’s mayor Carlos Moedas, acknowledging it was a “very expensive” project.
But, at a time of soaring inflation, thousands were quick to take to social media to point a finger at Moedas, a former EU commissioner, for spending such a large amount on an altar.
“If the housing crisis was an altar for World Youth Day, it would already be solved,” Fabian Figueiredo, from the Left Bloc party, said on Twitter. “The problem is not lack of money but spending priorities.”
Rent prices in Lisbon have jumped 53% since 2017, according to the National Institute of Statistics, but salaries remain low, with recent data from the Labour Ministry showing more than 50% of workers made less than 1,000 euros per month last year.
“As a Catholic and a man of faith I am saddened by this display of unnecessary opulence at such a difficult time,” wrote Twitter user Manuel Barbosa.
Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, a Catholic himself, said the altar would be used for other events in the future.
($1 = 0.9185 euros)
Portuguese criticise Lisbon mayor over pricey altar for Pope
(C) 2007-2023 Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.
Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.