“If we call for resignations of everyone and everything, there’ll be no institutions left…”
Portugal’s free-wheeling political crisis has seen calls today for the resignation of the Governor of the Bank of Portugal – not because he appears to have said one thing, when he meant another, but because he was even considering stepping into the shoes of prime minister António Costa.
Initiativa Liberal has been the first to step forwards demanding his resignation, followed by CDS-PP. This led to the PSD to jump in, stressing “we need to respect the separation of powers (…), the independence and impartiality of the entities in charge of regulation (…) we need to avoid situations of abuse of power and even of communication”.
The PSD is making a firm appeal “to all those in public office” not to let the country’s “state of degradation go any further.”
It fell to one of the smallest parties in parliament, to state the obvious. Said Rui Tavares of LIVRE: “If we call for the resignations of everyone and everything, there’ll be no institutions left!”
Today is proving a rollercoaster, with no one apparently at the controls. Tomorrow may become ‘clearer’ following the meeting between the acting prime minister and Portugal’s head of State.
The reality is that Mário Centeno’s position is delicate. Officially, the European Central Bank is ‘awaiting the results of the meeting today of the bank’s ethics committee’.
Unofficially, the ethics hearing is unlikely to go against the central bank governor.
As political pundit and State advisor Luís Marques Mendes said on his regular Sunday evening slot on SIC Notícias last night: Mr Centeno appointed the members of the committee. It would be unthinkable that they would then find against him.
The ECB’s ethics entity however may have a different reading of the situation, albeit that is looking too far ahead.
Right now, Monday afternoon, feelings appear to be ‘on fire’, with even stories emerging that public prosecutors “may have misread the ordinance” that led them to accuse João Galamba of favouritism…
A positive note has been struck by the minister for foreign affairs, who told reporters in Brussels that as far as he is concerned, the economic situation of the country is the same as it was 10 days ago: investors know that, and he is not (apparently) concerned that any of the rising hysteria at home could affect Portugal’s image abroad. ND