State of Emergency “could run till May 17”

Portugal’s State of Emergency could run for another two two-week periods, taking the country to May 17 before life starts ‘opening up’ again.

Prime minister António Costa is reported to have admitted as much to party leaders during meetings in Lisbon yesterday, stressing that with the “strong economic repercussions” the government doesn’t see lockdown extensions beyond this date as ‘feasible’.

The negative effects of the country’s closure are already biting in every sector, with forecasts on a surge in unemployment figures coming daily.

Says Jornal Económico, “António Costa shared his concerns about the immediate future” which range from “the impact on the budget due to a reduction in revenue from taxes, to increased social expenses, the cost of lay-off payments to hundreds of thousands of workers” – the costs in other words of ‘economic stagnation’ in general.

Also uncertain at this point, says the online, is the “response the government can expect from the European Union”.

This last ‘unknown’ should receive some kind of answer later today following the return to discussions of the Eurogroup (click here).