Budget authority warns deficit increasing by €1.2 million per day

Piling on the bad news, the Direção-Geral do Orçamento (budget authority) has just released figures to show the country’s deficit increased by €108 million between January and March this year – a daily jump of €1.2 million per day. IVA receipts have “stagnated”, says the DGO, while money from traffic fines has also dropped 37.4%. In all, expenditure has increased four times more than moneyflow into State coffers, say reports.

But Finance Minister Mário Centeno is still refusing to consider ‘extra measures’ being demanded by Brussels (and other quarters), saying only that “this is a budget of enormous rigour”.

With Portugal’s programmes for national reform and stability due for perusal by Brussels from next week, developments are coming thick and fast – with opposition parties all predicting the worst. The PS is under the thumb of its far-left allies, says the PSD, while the CDS view is that the government’s sums make no sense at all.