President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz has given a surprisingly positive radio interview in Portugal, dismissing fears that the anti-austerity Socialist government has got it all wrong.
As the nation’s State Budget for 2016 has finally been approved, the centre-left political leader told Rádio Renascença: “There is no growth without investment”, stressing that it is “false to believe that reducing expenses is the only way of meeting a budget or reducing sovereign debt”.
As to concerns that the PS Socialist allies (Bloco de Esquerda and PCP communists) could be “a threat to the European project”, Schulz was adamant: “I do not believe that,” he said. “Friends of the BE govern in Greece. Alexis Tsipras has a seat on the European Council. I do not have the impression that this is a threat for us.”
Indeed, the communist party in Portugal “has apparently changed its strategy”, he said. “After 40 years, they have decided for the first time to cooperate constructively. It is a kind of revolution.”
Schulz’ positivity stems from the fact that the government is doing “two things”, he said. “Respecting EU rules, and on the other hand trying to create investment in the country.”
Schulz’ only concerns seemed to lie in the possibility of a ‘Brexit’, as the UK’s in/out referendum looms, with no clear side leading the polls.
Would Brexit really be so dramatic, Renascença asked. “I think it would,” said Schulz, affirming “we are stronger together” but adding that, despite his personal feelings, “the will of the British people” is what this issue is really about.