LISBON, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Tuesday that it is necessary to "control the growth of unemployment and reactivate the economy so that jobs can be generated again."
He said in a speech during the signing of an agreement with the National Association of Portuguese Municipalities that "60 million euros (67.84 million U.S. dollars) of community funds" from the country's budget will be used to renovate 568 schools nationwide, which will generate jobs and income in the communities.
The statement came after Portugal's Institute of Employment and Professional Training reported a 34 percent increase in the number of unemployed in May compared to the same month last year in the country.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has been a huge threat to health, but it has also had a devastating effect on employment," said Costa, noting that in just two months Portugal had "more than 100,000 unemployed people."
"This is a reality that we have to respond with the same energy and determination with which we respond to the pandemic," he said.