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Prime Minister tells Passos to go “Pokémon hunting”

As we went to press on Wednesday, national media was making much of a statement made by Prime Minister António Costa who apparently told opposition leader and former PM Pedro Passos Coelho to “go Pokémon hunting” instead of speaking ill of Portugal’s current economic situation.

The statement came while the PM visited the Passos Manuel school in Lisbon.

“Those who look for the devil would be better off hunting Pokémon, which are easier to find,” he told journalists.

Though Passos’ name was not mentioned, newspapers quickly linked the statement to the PSD leader who insists that Portugal is not doing as well as the current government is letting on.

Costa, however, insists that talk of a possible second bailout (see our cover story) is nonsensical. He added that Portugal is going to be “comfortably below” the 2.5% deficit target set by European authorities.

“We won’t have problems related to our deficit,” the PM guaranteed.

Passos Coelho, on the other hand, refused to answer back.

“I did not know about his (Pokémon) statement, but I don’t feel any need to comment about it. I think it speaks for itself,” he said.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com