As a soundbyte it could not be better: Portugal’s government is expecting growth in 2018 “will be one of the greatest of the millennium” with an increase in public investment beyond that registered this year.
But the truth is that a large chunk of this millennium has been spent in the shadow of financial crisis.
As the saying goes: “that all behind us” now. “Poortugal” has risen like the proverbial phoenix from the ashes, and only last week even saw praise from outgoing German chancellor Wolfgang Schauble.
Today, the government is presenting its proposals for the State Budget 2018 – a document ready to take Portugal to its next level.
Pre-presented yesterday to the various political parties, it is due to be approved later today by the Council of Ministers, for ongoing passage to parliament on Friday.
Talking to journalists after yesterday’s round of meetings, Secretary of state for parliamentary affairs Pedro Nuno Santos affirmed: “We will have the economy growing in 2018 in a way that it hasn’t grown for many years.
“It will be one of the largest rates of growth of the millennium.
“The Portuguese economy is alive, growing, creating employment and can today look to the future with hope”, he added – stressing this was “not something that happened” during the years that right-wing parties were at the helm.
Party-political point-making aside, Nunes Santos stressed that public investment “will continue to increase” and that this will be a budget where the government “keeps its word, respects promises made and shows justice for the labour force who will see IRS (income tax) increase in its progressivity”.
This is a budget that aimed at helping the self-employed and basically “putting more money into Portuguese purses”.
Said news channels this morning, all the signs are that “this is another year of social and economic advance in Portugal.”