Luís Montenegro, PSD leader
Luís Montenegro. Image: Rodrigo Antunes/ Lusa

Government is rotting, impoverishing the country – PSD

Justice system, particularly, under fire

As Portugal’s PS government’s own PR machine works overtime to paint a country underpinned by stability, opposition parties appear to be working every bit as hard to show that it isn’t.

PSD social democrat leader Luís Montenegro has now accused the government of “rotting” while impoverishing the country.

His criticism comes as financial specialists warn the Socialist’s Stability Programme seems to rest on a considerable degree of hot air, and as constitutionalists suggest the party is getting too big for its boots (this referring to the decision by the speaker to ban elected right-wing MPs from overseas parliamentary delegations).

Montenegro’s ‘Achilles Heel’ on the political stage is that he doesn’t actually have a seat in parliament these days (he did in the past). But his latest broadside against the absolute majority government shows he is wholly focused on changing this, sooner rather than later: “We are here to deserve the largest number of votes and seats in parliament, which must be in the majority and must be such as to give our government the conditions to transform the country. We don’t want to go into office to survive politically, to enjoy the benefits of power”, he told his party’s national conference yesterday evening.

“The country has become impoverished and the government is rotting,” he said, pointing to  all the small and large ‘cases’ that have affected the executive, as well as the “bankruptcy of some public services“, particularly the country’s system of  justice.

Referring to recent reports that the last remaining charges against former prime minister José Sócrates look like ‘falling’ due to the sheer length of time it has taken not to hear them in a court of law, he said if this is in fact the case, “it will be one more sign of the State’s inability to fulfil the most elementary tasks – and this reveals the rottenness of Socialist governance”.

Other examples of what he calls this “rottenness” include successive “record tax burdens”, the controversies involving TAP and the rather bizarre comment very recently by the PM that he would rather speak with a Brazilian accent in Portugal than with a Portuguese one…

“When members of the government say one thing and its opposite within hours (this referring to the famous ‘legal opinion’ that has inflamed the TAP inquiry) and the prime minister takes it as a matter of course, it is the rottenness of the governing function and its authority,” Montenegro thundered.

The National Council meeting went on for three hours, writes Lusa. The political atmosphere, for all the attempts of dialling things down, is positively sparking – not helped by apparent remarks caught on camera ‘behind the scenes’ of the April 25 commemorations, in which the parliamentary speaker is understood to have ‘insulted’ Iniciativa Liberal.

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