President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, speaks during a business forum at the 28th Ibero-American Summit, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on March 24. Photo: EPA/Orlando Barria
President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, speaks during a business forum at the 28th Ibero-American Summit, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on March 24. Photo: EPA/Orlando Barria

Relations with PM exactly as they have always been – president

President Marcelo expressed his disagreement with the government’s housing package

President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said on Friday that “relations with the prime minister, António Costa, are exactly as they have always been“, adding that they are both “very predictable” and will not change until 2026.

The head of state was speaking to journalists at a hotel in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where he is taking part in the 28th Ibero-American Summit (Friday and Saturday, March 24 and 25), along with the prime minister, António Costa.

Asked how his relations with the prime minister were, after he argued that he should be an “intervening president” to “counterbalance” the PS’s (Socialist Party) absolute parliament majority, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa stated: “They are exactly as they have always been.”

“We are very predictable. I’ve known him since he was 19 years old. He doesn’t change and I don’t change,” he added, referring to the time António Costa was his student at the Faculty of Law at Lisbon University.

“Until the end of our lives, which means in terms of political life, until the end of this common path until 2026, neither he will change, nor I will change,” he predicted.

Asked if the dialogue between the two continues to go well, the head of state replied: “Of course, of course, of course, it works very well. Every now and then, there are more intense moments and other less intense ones, but that is the richness of democracy. Have you ever thought how monotonous it would be if the president repeated what the prime minister wanted him to say, or if the prime minister always agreed with the president? It would be monotony.”

At a time when he has expressed his disagreement with the government’s housing package, particularly with regard to the intention to legislate on the mandatory rental of vacant houses, the president has admitted that there have been messages from both sides: “But it is natural. We have different temperaments. Whoever looks at both of us knows that we have different personalities and different temperaments.

Source: Lusa