Costa on his way to Belém

As Portugal enters its eighth week in political limbo, Socialist leader António Costa met yet again with President of the Republic Cavaco Silva in Belém.

Under increasing attack for his ‘dithering’ this far, Cavaco was expected to make a public declaration “on what will be happening next” – more to the point, on who he decides should be running the country.

National tabloid Correio da Manhã suggested in this morning’s paper that the declaration would come today, and that the scenario points to the president finally appointing a Socialist government that has the backing of the PCP communists, Bloco de Esquerda (Left Bloc), Green Party and PAN – the people, animals and nature party.

The news came as patience over Cavaco’s handling of the political crisis has almost worn through.

Not only has the parliamentary majority chastised him for wasting vital time, but international observers and politicians in Brussels have all said they see little harm in a left wing executive.

Writing in the Financial Times over the weekend, columnist Wolfgang Munchau stressed that it is time for Cavaco to “listen to parliament”.

Repeating his words, Expresso adds that Munchau is “not the only one in London who sees nothing wrong with Portugal being governed by the Socialist Party”.

But Cavaco remains seemingly unmoved by the growing unrest over his handling of the affair and has yet to make any kind of announcement.

The meeting with Costa was brief, and resulted simply in Belém publishing six conditions to his being appointed PM.

According to press reports, Cavaco seeks clarification on all the points before he can be satisfied that the Socialists are offering a “stable, long-lasting and credible government”.

Costa will be giving the president the “required clarification” by letter today, Socialist parliamentary leader Carlos Costa has told Lusa news agency.