Football is played everywhere from professional stadiums to schoolyards, from slums to posh suburbia, and enjoyed by young and old alike. Football is the world’s most popular sport, yet as millions gather to enjoy the World Cup, countless children across the world will not have the time to watch a single game - they’ll be hard at work. That chocolate you so like, that cigarette billowing smoke next to you, those new edition shoes you see on children’s feet…all might be the fruit of tiny hands’ labour.
Each week in Brussels
“Foreign workers struggle in Malaysia”. This was one of the headlines from Al Jazeera used on April 12 in order to draw attention to “millions of undocumented foreign workers” currently living in the Southeast Asian state. It is a matter of people hailing from most notably, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal. It is about a mass of people with different backgrounds and life stories meeting with the shared hope of finding better living conditions, jobs and the possibility to help their families back home. The professional situation in which these migrants – a large percentage of whom pay “more than $1,000 to come in to the country” – find themselves in is very often unstable, with a salary unable to guarantee their subsistence. According to Al Jazeera, the situation for some of them is “so bad that Nepal’s ambassador fears many of the unemployed men in Malaysia’s capital will turn to crime to survive.
The bailout program will be over in May 2014 when Portugal prepares for a possible interim financing program or the recovery of full debt sovereignty after IMF leaves the country. For the past few months articles in some of the most prestigious economic newspapers classified Portugal as “the champion of austerity”, “the new dragon of the South” and another couple of fancy titles that will keep the “markets” (as if these were autonomous) happy, with the country reorganizing its finances and increasing its exports. Yet, is the country actually doing better?