Brussels delivers budget bombshell

Brussels has delivered a stiff letter to Portugal’s finance minister, basically telling him that his budgetary sums for 2018 ‘don’t add up’.

Says Dinheiro Vivo this afternoon, the letter “contests Mário Centeno’s figures”, and “does not believe in the structural adjustment that the government talks about”.

Worse, the online financial news service says the EC is “visibly dissatisfied with the budgetary adjustment drawn up by the government for 2018, and has raised problems in relation to the budget for this year” (which has only two months left to run).

After two truly dreadful weeks for a government struggling to regain popularity and credence, this spanner-in-the-financial works could hardly have come at a worse time.

Friday sees the government braced for another nail-biting weekend. Civil Protection has admitted if any fires break out they could reach “enormous proportions rapidly”, and Portugal is still low on available firefighting planes and helicopters.
With temperatures beyond anything that could be considered normal for October, this latest news from will have the government’s collective blood pressure going off the scale.

Expresso has expanded on the breaking new story, suggesting European commissioners Valdis Dombrovskis and Pierre Moscovici, although fearful of significant risks in Portugal’s financial outlook, are prepared to “continue constructive dialogue”, but only until the end of this month.

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