Corbyn congratulates Portugal’s Socialist-led government for increasing its anti-austerity mandate in election

António Costa and Jeremy Corbyn
Ed Sykes

Portugal’s centre-left government has increased its votes in Portugal’s general election, and is poised to continue in government for another four years.

UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn congratulated the Socialist Party-led government on its victory, saying:

 

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As euronews reported, Socialist PM António Costa had “overseen a strong economic recovery” since taking power, “with growth climbing from 0.2 per cent in 2014 to 2.1 per cent in 2018 and unemployment dropping by around half, to 6 per cent”.

Commentator Fuad Alakbarov said:

Successful left-wing coalition looks set to continue

With 226 seats in the 230-seat parliament awarded in the official count, the Socialists reached 106 seats, compared with 77 for the second-place Social Democratic Party. Costa’s party could take power as a minority government, or it could continue to pursue alliances with other left-of-centre parties to pass legislation — as it did in its last term with the Left Bloc and the Portuguese Communist Party. Costa said he would start talks with other parties with the aim of securing a political agreement for the next four years.

The Left Bloc, which had won 19 seats in the incomplete count, said it was ready to open negotiations with the Socialists on a government programme. The Portuguese Communist Party, meanwhile, had 10 seats. The centre-left People–Animals–Nature party seemed to have won four seats, and eco-socialists from the Livre party won one.

Costa insisted that his prospective government will continue its efforts to improve debt-heavy Portugal’s public finances — a key achievement in his first term that endeared him to Portuguese citizens and to other European leaders keen to avoid a repeat of the continent’s recent financial crisis. His administration won respect by proving wrong the people who said it would overspend.

He took power four years ago on a promise to undo austerity measures introduced during Europe’s financial crisis, when Portugal needed an international bailout. And now, his Socialists have reaped the rewards of Portugal’s economic rebound. The budget deficit — long a torment for Portugal as governments routinely overspent — is now close to zero under the financial stewardship of finance minister Mario Centeno, who also chairs the meetings of finance ministers from the 19 European nations that use the shared Euro currency.

Featured image via YouTube and Wikimedia Commons, with additional content via Press Association

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  • Show Comments
    1. Ed, please check the facts on this comment you made “The budget deficit — long a torment for Portugal as governments routinely overspent “. In fact Portugal has historically been conservative in her spending and prior to the financial crisis of 2008 had a debt to GDP ratio equal to that of Germany. The debt ballooned when the government was forced to bail out private banks (as with Ireland and Spain). And austerity ensued the debt ratio didn’t recover until Costa faced up to the Eurogroup.

    2. Forced to bail out private banks! Iceland may of been an inspiration for Portugal to confront the wizards of finance who want their gambling habits insured by the public’s purse.
      Who would of thought they would inshrine such dishonesty in their philosophy while proclaiming to the public a Drab, Dreary, and Dull austere existence is for their own good.
      The young wear teeshirts saying “Kindness over everything”. The young aren’t fooled.

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