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CDS leader launches blistering attack on prime minister

He may have been enjoying eulogies in the international press, but prime minister António Costa got a pasting this week from CDS leader Assunção Cristas, who told him his “word” was “worth nothing”.

For a country that still considers it a crime to besmirch another person’s honour, this was about as bad an insult that you could get without instigating a case for defamation.

Indeed, many cases for defamation have been filed for a great deal less.

Cristas was on the attack over the agreement with ‘social partners’ over the reduction of TSU (the so-called ‘unique social tax’ paid by employers).

The issue centred on Costa declaring that the agreement had already been signed, when in fact it was still being ferried across the capital from door-to-door as social partners ‘ratified’ the text.

Cristas thus took Costa’s generalisation as an out-and-out lie.

She launched into such a diatribe that the Speaker of the House tried at certain points to say “enough is enough”. But on she went, the gist of the insults being that Costa did not have “the conditions” to “occupy” his position as Portugal’s prime minister.

Again, “not having conditions” is quite an insult in Portugal.

The agreement has since been signed and rubber-stamped by president of the republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

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