PSD challenges government on unemployment

LEADER OF the Social Democrats Party (PSD), Marques Mendes, has challenged Prime Minister José Sócrates to debate the economic and social crisis, and the drastic increase in unemployment, in parliament on September 21.

Marques Mendes accuses Sócrates of flippancy and arrogance for trying to run away from problems. The PSD leader also accuses José Sócrates of creating “jobs for the boys”, claiming that he is placing members of the Socialist Party (PS) in public companies and state institutions.

Manuel Pinho also received a verbal assault from Mendes. “The Minister for the Economy, instead of keeping his feet on the ground, supporting the country’s business interests, entertains himself with ‘Pharaoh projects’, such as Ota and TGV (referring to the new airport and high speed train link).”

Rumoured sale of TVI channel

causing alarm

Marques Mendes is accusing the government of secretly preparing to authorise the sale of the commercial TV channel TVI to Spanish group Prisa, a business linked to the Spanish Socialist Party. He believes such a deal would put Portuguese culture at risk. “If the government authorises one of Portugal’s two private channels to become Spanish owned, this will be a hammer blow to our language and our culture. We must defend our national identity and culture,” said Mendes.