The rise in pensions and the increased investment in healthcare they have finally convinced the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) to abstain in the final vote on the budgets and have facilitated its approval. The leader of the PCP, Jerónimo de Sousa, has warned the government that his party’s abstention is not a blank check. “The political will to implement the measures is more important than their approval,” said de Sousa, who insisted on the need to approve the minimum wage increase and of apply reforms in labor law.
Despite approval, the Socialists have less support than ever and the legislature is complicated. The budgets have been approved only with the votes in favor of their party and with the vote against the Esquerda Bloc (BE), former parliamentary partners, who already showed their rejection in the first vote because they consider that the investment in public health It is insufficient.
The blockist leader, Catarina Martins, has once again reproached the Government for its refusal of a legislative pact in 2019 and has insisted that the only option for the Socialists is to reach agreements with the left. “The PS will have to negotiate what until now it believed it could deny: a health system with sufficient capacity and exclusive professional careers.”
For its part, the right has taken advantage the dispute between the left parties to attack the Government. The leader of the opposition, Rui Rio, warned last week of the possibility that the legislature will not be fulfilled in its entirety, taking into account the difficulties of the Socialists to reach agreements with their former allies. The conservative spokeswoman, Isaura Morais, has referred to a alliance “lame”, while the leader of the far-right party Chega, André Ventura, has assured that this will be “the last budget & rdquor; of the prime minister, António Costa.
Higher public spending
The Government will have to deal with the proposals that the rest of the parties have managed to include in the accounts – despite the socialist rejection – that will increase public spending of € 6 billion to counteract the effects of the pandemic.
In addition, the Executive has seen how the Parliament knocked down the injection of 476 million to the financial entity Novo Banco, rescued in 2014, thanks to the votes of the BE and the PSD. A movement that both the socialist spokesperson and the Minister of Finance, Joao Leão, have disfigured the main opposition party, whom they have accused of “putting the financial system at risk, with devastating and unforeseeable consequences for the reputation of Portugal.”
The Executive considers taking this matter to the Constitutional Court, since it considers that it is a breach of the agreements assumed with the European Commission and the European Central Bank. Leão has accused the leader of the PSD, Rui Rio, of “playing with fire” and has assured that they will do everything possible so that none of the bank’s nearly one million clients “burns in this process.” Conservators will only rectify if an independent audit is carried out first.