New “expert opinion” that Portugal has its economic sums all wrong

UTAO, Portugal’s “specialist unit” set up to investigate “budgetary and financial material”, has added its weight to warnings already sounded by the EC, IMF and others over Portugal’s ability to move forwards economically. Carrying the story this week, Público featured a photograph that said it all – finance minister Maria Luís Albuquerque at a government bench, completely alone, looking startled. The headline was “Portugal risks losing external competitivity”.

UTAO claims the PSD/CDS-PP coalition’s economic forecasts for the next four years are “risky” and could have negative consequences on public finances.

Again, as the EC and IMF have been at pains to point out, UTAO “explains that the risks in measures defined by the government will be more felt in the medium-term, than the short-term”.

And, as the Público article explains, ECB boss Mario Draghi’s massive programme of quantitative easing is behind “practically all” the benefits that the government is presenting for structural spending.

This is yet another “risk factor”, says the paper, as the resulting fall in interest rates “does not follow discretionary action of national authorities”.

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