Portugal’s coalition “deadpan” over Greek election results

Carefully measuring their words, Portugal’s PSD and CDS coalition parties have been the first to comment on the Greek election victory of the anti-austerity Syriza party – making sure to stress that Greece is not Portugal.

Among messages of “respect” and “felicitations for the electoral process”, the parties have both underlined the need for Greece to stay in Europe.

Indeed, the PSD statement said little else and was a perfection of “good pupil” toe-the-line diplomacy.

“The common project that connects us in this European house of which we both take part reminds us of how interlinked and dependent we find each other and reinforces the sense of cooperation and respect for national institutions that should guide us,” it said.

The CDS – whose leader Paulo Portas has always rejected any thoughts of debt renegotiation for Portugal – went further. The statement released by Filipe Lobo d’Ávila referred to the differences between Portugal and Greece, and warned of the folly of any radical moves to the Left in Portugal.

“Greece is at the stage of its fifth evaluation in the second bailout,” said the CDS. “Portugal took the correct option of only one bailout. The Troika is still in Greece. Portugal ended its contract with the Troika on March 17, 2014. Portugal finalised its programme of adjustment. Greece has still to do so.”

Elsewhere, international media is full of the implications of the Greek drama, with stories of runs on the Greek banks already hitting the headlines.

Late on Sunday night, Forbes online website was suggesting “Greece could be forced out of the euro within a matter of hours rather than months”, as the chances of a debt-renegotiation the way Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras has sold it to the Greek electorate seem highly unlikely.

By NATASHA DONN [email protected]