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Do you still remember how much a coffee or a metro ticket costs?  – executive summary

Do you still remember how much a coffee or a metro ticket costs? – executive summary

The introduction of the euro in Portugal, officially in 2002, brought great challenges to the economy and purchasing power of the Portuguese. Despite measures taken to avoid speculation, such as displaying prices in both escudos and euros, many daily expenses doubled almost immediately.

For example, the price of coffee, which was worth 50 escudos before the introduction of the euro, rose to 50 cents (or 100 escudos) to facilitate payment in the new currency. This phenomenon of price variation is attributed to “comfortable prices”, where the last number ends in zero.

Portugal entered the Eurozone at an unfavorable exchange rate, where 200,482 escudos were equivalent to one euro. This unfavorable rate has contributed significantly to the loss of purchasing power of Portuguese citizens, significantly increasing the cost of living.

Currently, the euro is the official currency of 19 European countries, including Portugal, and is used by more than 340 million Europeans. Portugal is part of the group of 11 founding countries that have adopted the euro since it entered circulation in 1999.

After two decades of using the euro, replacing the escudo, and an initial period of adjustment that included the use of converters to facilitate purchases, the real value of money was gradually lost. Portuguese consumers began spending more money to buy the same products, often without fully realizing how much was being spent, especially in the first three years of the single currency.

For example, tipping at restaurants has increased significantly. Before, you would give 20 or 30 escudos to the guide, now you give 50 cents (or 100 escudos) or more. Giving two euros (or 400 escudos) as a tip has become common practice. This change raises a question: What can be done with 1,000 escudos in the Shield era, which are now equivalent to only 5 euros?

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Here are some changes:

Public transportation – The cost of a metro ticket in January 2002 was 100 escudos (50 cents). Today it amounts to 1.80 euros (360 escudos)

Cinema ticket – If previously a trip to the cinema cost 700 escudos in January 2022, today the cost exceeds 7 euros (1,400 escudos)

A full meal in a restaurant – the price of a meal was, on average, 1,800 escudos (9 euros). You can still find some menus of the day or “small plates” at this price, but outside of promotions, you'll likely end up spending more than €15 (3,000 escudos) for the same meal.

A liter of gasoline – in January 2002, this fuel was sold for 172 escudos per liter (0.86 euros). At the beginning of this year, the price was 1,643 euros (330 escudos).

A packet of tobacco – If once, in 2002, a packet of tobacco cost 370 escudos (1.85 euros), today the same packet costs more than 5 euros (more than a thousand escudos)