Brussels rules against punishing Portugal with economic sanctions

After all the hue and cry in the press, the ‘outrage’ and the threats even of suing if necessary, Portugal’s government learnt today that Brussels will not be imposing economic sanctions as a result of the 0.2% slide in excessive deficit targets.

Foreign affairs minister Augusto Santos Silva has described the decision taken by the European Commission as “very good news”.

In declarations to journalists this morning he said it shows “two very important things”.

First, that Portugal’s own arguments “were and are very solid”. And second, “that reason was and is on our side”.

“Portugal made a very important effort in its budgetary consolidation (during the years 2013-2015 when the last government was in power). The people made many sacrifices that deserve understanding and support”, he added, stressing that the country “is on a clear route to budgetary consolidation, economic recovery and any measure that produces contrary effects to its logic should be avoided”.

Santos Silva also said the “finale” in what has been mounting hysteria orchestrated by the press (click here) shows that “it is worth playing by European rules”.

“It will be worth our while to follow European rules and worth our while to work with all the European institutions, understanding everyone’s arguments, putting our own and defending, in all circumstances, the national interest”, he said.

Closing this chapter, finally, before the August summer holidays, the minister said the government would now be able to concentrate on the “essential” which is “the recovery of the economy without losing sight of the effort of budgetary consolidation” so that the country can emerge from the process of excessive deficit “already this year”.