Economy still in a bad state .jpg

Economy still in a bad state

PORTUGAL HAS greater financial instability now than it did following the April 25th Revolution in 1974, according to a leading economist.

João César das Neves told the Correio da Manhã newspaper that, on the eve of the government’s 2007 budget, the Portuguese economy was in no better shape than it had been in recent years.

“I’m not making any predictions here, it’s a fact that the economy is hardly growing at all, although there are sectors of the economy that are earning huge amounts of money,” he said. “The economy has been in a crisis for seven years, growth isn’t falling, but it isn’t rising either,” he explained.

The economist said there had been a serious crisis in 2003, followed by a slight recovery, however this was not sustained. “The government has its role to play and that role is to put a gloss on things and be as optimistic as possible,” he said.

Neves said that the government’s hope for a two per cent growth rate was overly optimistic, while 1.5 per cent was more realistic. “We’ve had some clearly positive figures in the last quarter, but the government is playing that up and is already saying that we are out of the crisis, but this is just not true,” he criticised.