Portugal should invest in potatoes and vegetables to survive.jpg

Portugal should invest in potatoes and vegetables to survive

By Chris Graeme [email protected]

A stark warning of an impoverished Portugal run by weak governments with irresponsible policies was issued by a former finance minister in Lisbon last week.

Dr. Medina Carreira, former Minister of Finance between 1976 and 1978, warned that only through concentrating on primary markets such as agriculture and investing in developing transactional products that could be sold overseas could Portugal hope to avoid a bleak and indebted future.

Speaking to a packed audience of over 500 people about his book Portugal – Que Futuro? (Portugal – What Future?), the veteran politician lashed out at Portugal’s short-sighted political class.

The country was facing the worst political, social and economic situation in 80 years, paying particular attention to the last decade with a ruling class “without ideas” leading a nation of “fools”.

“Producing more saleable goods on the international market is the only healthy way forward,” he said.

Dr. Medina Carreira said that Portugal had been in a deep and sustained systemic crisis of its own making for decades, one that only the Portuguese were responsible for and one which only they could resolve.

According to the maverick former minister, another solution was to invest in “potatoes and vegetables” in order to get out of the crisis.

He said that high unemployment would be a permanent fixture and painted a bleak portrait of Portugal’s growing pensioner population and a working class unable to sustain a National Health Service or social security system 30 years down the line.

He slammed the present government’s policies for large public works projects, which would only serve to further impoverish the country with debt, leaving Portugal’s impressive system of motorways as useful for those wanting to “flee from this country as quickly as possible”.

“The only possible way forward is to up production and create wealth,” he said at the American Club/Objectiva organised event at the Hotel Sheraton.