Pedro Nuno Santos
Pedro Nuno Santos presenting his party's electoral programme in Lisbon. Image: Manuel de Almeida/ Lusa

Socialist programme “makes no reference to reprivatisation of TAP”

But introduces new measure involving State paying mortgages of “families in difficulty”

National media has been reacting to the ‘return’ of Socialist leader Pedro Nuno Santos, whose concern over the possibility that his party may not win the elections, has seen him drop his ‘middle of the road’ approach to the campaign, and come back with his more habitual left-leaning avengeance.

This was shown in the presentation yesterday afternoon of the PS Socialist electoral programme, which brought a new pledge to the fore, to add to all the others that preceded it: the PS “wants the State to give families who have bank loans for the purchase of a home and who find themselves in difficulties paying their installments to assume the credit and draw up a lifetime rental agreement, for “a value compatible with the income of the family”, writes Correio da Manhã tabloid.

“In a long speech in which he went through the promises for Health, Education, the Economy and the Environment, Pedro Nuno Santos laid great store in the housing sector”, said the paper – albeit there were no other ‘surprise’ new pledges.

Lusa however has highlighted the fact that throughout the discourse, Pedro Nuno Santos made “no reference to the privatisation of TAP”.

Indeed, the electoral programme only refers to wanting the airline to maintain “regular and accessible” connections with Portuguese communities of a significant size – which begs the question ‘would a new Socialist government want to keep control of TAP?

With regard to the endless debate on where to site Lisbon’s badly-needed overspill airport, again, very little to hold on to: The PS will “ “quickly take” a decision on the location, once the work of the Independent Technical Commission (CTI) charged with identifying the best location has been completed, and argues that the state should guarantee the “continued development of the remaining airport infrastructure.”

As far as the country was led to believe earlier this year, the work of the Independent Technical Commission has been completed…in as much as the best site for the airport has been identified

Lusa recalls that in September last year, “the government began the process of reprivatising the company (…) At the time, the declared aim was to complete the sale in the first half of 2024.

“On September 28, the government announced its intention to sell at least 51% of TAP’s share capital, reserving up to 5% for workers, and stating that it wanted the Council of Ministers to approve the privatisation specifications by the end of 2023 or “at the latest” in early 2024.

All those intentions flew out the window on the collapse of the government in November, which led to the looming elections.

But while ‘party faithful’ are tweeting their joy at the ‘return of Pedro Nuno Santos’ in all his ideological glory, critics have been less enthusiastic.

Nuno Ramos de Almeida, a regular political commentator on SIC Notícias, said: “What we have seen in this electoral campaign is that (PS Socialist promises) look very promising, but not very feasible”.

SIC’s Ricardo Costa – brother of prime minister António – added that the PS is making a “big battle” out of the SNS (public health service), which he believes is ill advised, as it is “not their best legacy at the moment”. ND

Source material: Lusa/ Correio da Manhã/ SIC Notícias