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Portuguese government losing public confidence

THE PORTUGUESE government is losing popularity three years after winning the elections with an absolute majority.

According to the latest surveys, the government is not managing to maintain the confidence of the vast majority of the Portuguese which is showing signs of disillusionment with the government.

The Correio da Manhã/Aximage survey reports that 49 per cent of those asked thought that the Prime Minister “didn’t deserve their confidence” to solve the country’s main problems, while 45 per cent said they still had confidence in his government.

Despite the small margin, the survey shows that the Prime Minister is losing the confidence of many voters, with women, the unemployed and voters over the age of 45 showing least confidence in the government. Some 52.8 per cent thought that the Sócrates government was governing worse than expected. The same tendency was seen in Sócrates’ popularity which in March fell to an all time low of 7.4 out of a possible best of 20 before rising in May to 8.4.

In relation to other party leaders, Francisco Louçã got 11.7 points, Jerónimo de Sousa 11.1, Paulo Portas 8.7, and Luís Filipe Menezes 8.2.

Portuguese President Ánibal Cavaco Silva remains popular with 67.1 per cent of those asked.

When it came to government ministers, Education Minister Maria de Lurdes was most unpopular (7.5 out of 20), followed by Health Minister Ana Jorge (8.3) and the Minister of Public Works, Mário Lino with 9.7 points.

The minister whom the Portuguese thought was most competent was the Finance Minister, Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, who got 11.8 points followed by the Foreign Affairs Minister, Luís Amado with 10.8 points.

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