Portugal’s State Budget “doesn’t bring austerity or add crisis to crisis”

Finance minister João Leão has delivered his first budget to parliament, telling journalists it doesn’t bring austerity or add further crisis to the crisis we’re already experiencing.

Say reports, in his opinion, there is no reason for the myriad measures not to be accepted.

The way ahead now is via debates in the house and voting to take place on October 28.

The ‘big question’ is will minority left wing ‘allies’ support the government and get the document through, ensuring no ‘political hiccups’ in this already nail-biting year.

Past weeks have seen ‘rumblings’ of a potential political crisis opening up just as the country is due to vote in upcoming presidential elections.

Adding to the tension is the fact that President Marcelo – arguably one of the most popular presidents in the history of Portugal’s democracy – has still not confirmed whether or not he will be re-standing.

With national media detailing many of the budget’s new measures (see this week’s paper for full run-down), João Leão summed it up as one that is “good for Portugal and good for the Portuguese”.

“It puts priority on providing financial and human resources to fight the pandemic”, he explained, saying the main objective is the “rapid recovery” of the economy, and protection of employment and people’s incomes.

“We’re convinced this budget will be approved”, he repeated – though there are certain to be quite a few ‘dissenting headlines’ along the way. There are, after all, 15 days left to go before voting.

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