MPs of all parties line up against threat of EU sanctions

In what could be considered a ‘once in a blue-moon’ event, Portugal’s ruling Socialists and centre-right Opposition parties have joined forces against Brussels, in their condemnation of any decision to impose economic sanctions on Portugal’s failure to meet deficit targets.

The terminology used did not bring on Socialist allies the PCP however, who took exception to the sentence in which the parties referred to the “efforts and results” that had been made to reduce the country’s excessive deficit.

Nevertheless, the final paragraph of the text voted through, stated that “the Republican Assembly considers any decision by the European Commission to impose sanctions on the country for failing to comply with the Pact of Stability and Growth unfounded, unjust, incomprehensible and counter-productive”.

The debate even so opened the doors to all kinds of acrimony – with the PSD suggesting the PS “was in the hands of the Communists”, and the PS retorting that Portugal was just lucky not to be in the hands of the PSD – and bystanders were left with the sense that this could all have been a show of theatre; some light relief even to deflect attentions from more serious matters (like the latest economic forecasts from the Bank of Portugal).

The truth is the threat of sanctions is almost certainly an empty one – despite all the rumblings that emanated from Europe’s financial bosses (click here) last month.

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