President Marcelo is taking Portugal’s budget home to study when he spends Easter in Celorico de Basto – the idea being that he will give it his rubber-stamp by April 1. But before he had set out on the holidays, the council of public finances announced the government’s thinking does not stack up. Growth will be “anaemic” and the deficit targets cannot (hope to) be attained, said CFP president Teodora Cardoso.
Explaining that the PS forecasts for the next four years “do not include the stability plan nor the programme of reforms that the executive has to take to Brussels in the middle of next year”, Cardoso said whatever stimulus the government achieves by putting more money into people’s pockets “will not be sufficient to kick-start the economy”.
Nonetheless, popular tabloid Correio da Manhã writes that prime minister António Costa “has all indications that Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa will not obstruct the public accounts approved in parliament” last week.
An example of the new president’s support of the government was given as the moment in Mafra on Monday when he planted a magnolia tree while Costa commandeered the sprinkler.
“Do you want better institutional cooperation,” the prime minister quipped to cameras.