Former UKIP leader Farage warns: “Pressure on Portugal will return”

On a lightning visit to Portugal for the Estoril Conferences debating “future alternatives for Europe”, Euro-sceptic former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has been talking frankly about what he believes lies ahead for Portugal.

The choice is between being a truly independent country or a “minuscule satellite of Germany”, he told reporters, stressing that the latter will simply see pressure returning due to the “enormous mistake” of joining the euro.

Indeed, from Farage’s viewpoint, Portugal still faces another 20 years of austerity, one way or the other.

Talking to Observador website, he explained: “Things are better than they were before, but they continue bad compared to 10 years ago. We have to be honest: when the cycle comes back on itself and the crisis returns, as history inevitably demonstrates, pressure on Portugal and the eurozone will return.

“We may not be having this debate in the next three or four years, but it needs to be discussed. The country needs a serious conversation on what it wants to be. This was the motivation for Brexit. It was about identity, democracy, control of borders, all those things. And yes, Portugal may be doing better but the currency could be a prison for many more years to come… the country has lost control of monetary policy, of setting interest rates… We have to be serious: Portuguese public debt was at around 127% of GDP, right? And it has to return to 60%? So, that means more than 20 years of austerity lie ahead”…

An eventual “Portugalexit”, asked reporter Helena Cristina Coelho?

“I know it is not on the agenda today”, Farage replied. “But I strongly defend that this debate should at the very least be opened”.

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