Draghi wants lower salaries in Portugal “but earns €385,000 a year”

The much-anticipated visit to Lisbon by ECB boss Mario Draghi saw him beating the drum of austerity and the need for structural reforms, as well as praising former prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho for his efforts to bring Portugal ‘in line’ as per the desires of its creditors.

National tabloid Correio da Manhã reported on the landmark address to the Council of State – the first time a foreigner has been in this position – as Draghi “wanting lower salaries in Portugal, while he earns €385,000 a year”.

The report was minimalist in terms of Draghi’s message – which it has to be said must have come as a slap in the face to PS leaders keen to ‘turn the page’ on the work of the last government.

The ECB president stressed that the government “was not justified in annulling reforms” of recent past, said CM, adding that he actually advised: “More reforms are necessary”.

Draghi addressed the meeting that included former presidents Cavaco Silva and Ramalho Eanes, as well as television pundit Luís Marques Mendes and former prime minister António Guterres for two and a half hours, demonstrating his “pleasure with the undertaking of the Portuguese authorities to prepare additional measures” to reign in spending and toe-the-EU-line.

The problem with this part of the discourse is that as far as national media is concerned the PS executive is not considering any additional measures.

A Plan B is something both finance minister Mário Centeno and prime minister António Costa have repeatedly said does not exist.

Thus it is unclear what is coming from the wings, particularly as the only ratings agency to rate Portugal’s debt above the rubbish category is reported to be wobbling (click here).

After Draghi left, Socialist leaders discussed the national plan of reforms and the stability plan “which need to be delivered to Brussels”, for a further three hours, adds CM, referring in their final communiqué to the “affirmation of reformist impetus” and the need to “assure the sustainable trajectory of Portuguese public accounts”.

One noteworthy aside from CM was that former Left Bloc leader Francisco Louça “wore a tie”.

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