Government sells “success of the troika” at Cascais conference organised by The Economist

Portugal’s media is delighting in irony this morning as it reports on the Lisbon Summit, organised by The Economist in Cascais yesterday, entitled “Portugal at a Crossroads”.

“For (deputy prime minister) Paulo Portas everything is going well and he recommends it. For (leader of the Opposition) António Costa the crisis has not passed and austerity has destroyed more than it fixed,” reports Expresso.

“This is the portrait of two countries”. But it is actually “only one”.

Indeed, the political visions put forward were so different that one could not even evoke the description of the glass being “half full or half empty”, said the paper.

The country’s politicians were talking “about two different glasses altogether”.

Yesterday’s summit was held at Hotel Cascais Miragem and had an impressive line-up of speakers, from prime minister Passos Coelho to finance minister Maria Luís Albuquerque.

But it was Paulo Portas who hogged the headlines, with his remarks about Portugal “not being Greece”.

He was backed by Christian Kremer, described by Economico website as a “member of the party of Angela Merkel”, who agreed Portugal was not Greece because “the Portuguese government took decisive measures to allow the economy to grow again”.

Maria Luís Albuquerque used the cue to stress that “the worst period” in Portugal has now passed but that “permanent determination” was required to ensure the necessary “adjustment”.

As the website commented, “once again the success of Portugal was sold”. It did not reveal however who was buying it.

By NATASHA DONN [email protected]

Photo: Charting a course for the future? Picture taken in May 2015 during a visit to the Museu dos Descobrimentos in Porto

Photo by: LUSA