Cotrim de Figueiredo Photo: MANUEL DE ALMEIDA/LUSA

“PS has no idea how to power growth in Portugal”

Government’s programme gets an earful

The agony of today’s presentation of the government’s four-year programme has already seen howls of exasperation and derision from minority parties.

The reality is they are minority parties: they are unlikely to be able to change a thing.

But for the general summings up, Iniciativa Liberal’s president Cotrim de Figueiredo put everyone’s thoughts into one easy sentence: “The PS has no idea how to power growth in Portugal”

While the take of the PSD centre right (battered beyond their wildest nightmares in January’s elections) was that it hadn’t fully read the document, but couldn’t see anything in today’s presentation that showed “instruments for the real structural reform that the country needs”, IL went for the jugular, as did PCP Communists – neither able to see one policy that would turn Portugal’s fortunes around.

Livre – a tiny party of one valiant MP, Rui Tavares – said the government “has acted as if nothing has happened in the period between January 30 (when it won the elections) and today”.

The world has changed radically! The government is navigating by sight” – instead of going back to the drawing board, tearing-up old outdated ideas and starting again.

What is the point, for example, of keeping to the plan for a €900 minimum wage when inflation “doesn’t stop increasing”, he queried.

Today’s programme “doesn’t have the speed or breadth required”, said Mr Tavares.

Inês Sousa Real, the lone MP of PAN, has lamented the fact that the government’s programme “did not have a single word for the well-being of animals…

The evening will no doubt see more reactions from other parties and political commentators.

The Resident will be back with a better summary of response tomorrow. But, all in all, today’s presentation was the political equivalent of a learner driver attempting an uphill start in reverse.

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