Fierce reaction to Passos Coelho’s Christmas Day message

Fierce reaction to Passos Coelho’s Christmas Day message

Within hours of its broadcast, Passos Coelho’s fourth Christmas message to the Portuguese since becoming prime minister in 2011 was being heavily slated by all parties in Opposition.
Accusing the PM of continuing to sell “lies and mystification”, left-wingers wasted no time in drawing attention to all the things Passos Coelho did not say.
President of the PS Socialist Party Carlos César claimed the PSD leader had skirted round the fact that he had “increased sacrifices and the national debt; put off reforms and caused collapse to the systems he had touched – namely justice and education; while leaving the country with no external policies to speak of, rendering it irrelevant in a European context” and abandoning Portugal’s emigré communities at the same time.
Criticisms from the PCP Communist Party and Left Bloco were equally harsh, with the former warning that the 2015 State Budget due to come into effect on January 1 spelled “terrible consequences for the life of Portuguese people”.
Commentators dissecting the speech for SIC TV news were quick to pinpoint “revealing phrases” which came as the bespectacled PM sat in front of a Christmas tree.
One in particularly was the description of Portugal’s rate of growth as “above the average in the Eurozone”.
As SIC’s guest speaker pointed out: “Growth in the Eurozone is zero!”
Website Económico also highlighted the fact that there were many “similarities” between Passos Coelho’s speech this year and all the others that had preceded it, exhorting the country’s citizens to be courageous and understanding.
Elsewhere, the Portuguese media made much of the prime minister’s reference to “black clouds”.
“This will be the first Christmas in many years that the Portuguese will not have the accumulation of black clouds on their horizon”, he said. “It will be the first Christmas in many years in which we have the future open in front of us”.
But as his opponents observed, black clouds were still in evidence – in the shape of Passos Coelho’s own government.
Talking to Lusa news agency, Carlos César said: “In the sea of difficulties that we’re cross, the fact is that the black clouds will only dissipate by the perception that this government has to substituted”.
It is something which César said he hoped will happen in the upcoming legislative elections, scheduled in 2015.
Passos Coelho’s Christmas speech was delivered in the spirit of the tradition for end of year messages from the country’s leaders.
Next up will be President Cavaco Silva, on New Year’s Day.