Brussels poo-poos Portugal’s judicial ‘scandals’

Brussels poo-poos Portugal’s judicial ‘scandals’

According to the European Commission, Portugal’s latest judicial scandals have done nothing to dent Brussels’ confidence that the country can honour its financial commitments.
The news came in a press conference with the commission’s Economic Affairs chief Pierre Moscovici.
But reading between the lines, all is not as commissioner Muscovici would seem to say it is. While the EC may still have “confidence” in Portugal, it has also said that it has serious doubts that the coalition government’s budget for 2015 will stack-up (see story https://www.portugalresident.com/fears-loom-over-portugal%E2%80%99s-budget-deficit).
Nonetheless, the positive words will have delighted all those in power.
Moscovici was replying to questions from journalists on whether the EC felt Portugal was really capable of honouring its commitments, bearing in mind judicial processes had uncovered a labyrinth of institutional corruption and seen a former prime minister jailed in preventive custody on charges of tax fraud, money laundering and corruption.
The fact that the issues centred on a former prime minister “and not a future one” was pivotal to Muscovici’s optimistic answer.
“I don’t know who the next prime minister will be,” he told the meeting. “It depends on the voice, choice and vote of Portuguese citizens. It is an individual situation on which obviously I cannot give an opinion, but I cannot see that it can be considered a threat to Portugal’s democratic system. There is democratic stability. There is a government working, and we are examining the situation from a very rational and objective point of view.”
Portugal should occupy itself “uniquely to following the rules of the pact for stability and growth”, he concluded.