President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa
Image: Lusa

PM accused of sulking at Council of State

Yesterday’s reconvened Council of State (the last was brought to an incomplete halt because the PM had a plane to catch) has been described as ‘very tense’, in that President Marcelo had requested an overview of the national political, economic and social situation (which is not good on many levels: health, education, justice, housing, giving just the obvious problems) and prime minister António Costa was clearly put out by the president’s constant ‘comments’ – often apparently made ‘off the cuff’, and these days relatively critical of the government. According to the leader of the PSD opposition Luís Montenegro, Mr Costa attended yesterday’s meeting ‘in a sulk’, refusing to say a word. The meeting last three hours, and very little about what was said has emerged (which is essentially as it should be: these meetings are not open to the press). An official statement has been issued by the Presidency of the Republic, which confirmed that the analysis the president set out to conduct had been ‘concluded’. There was also a paragraph confirming Portugal’s continued support of and solidarity with Ukraine and desire for the country to become part of the European Union and NATO – positions that have not been voiced in such clarity by the prime minister.