@antoniocostapm

“Total liberation of society by September” with tourism on a roll, pledges Portugal’s PM

Portugal’s prime minister António Costa has pledged “total liberation of society” by the end of the summer, with prospects for the recovery of tourism riding high.

Talking at Lisbon’s Belem Cultural Centre today to celebrate the signing of agreements for €141 million in investment projects which promise to create 500 jobs, Mr Costa said: “We can be confident in the future of our economy.

“Whoever invests in sectors so badly affected by the crisis, like tourism, should not stop investing.

“Once this crisis is over everything points to Portugal continuing to be the best touristic destination it has been for the last three consecutive years”.

Indeed other investors should be setting their sights on Portugal now, confident that the “competitive capacity of our country has continued to increase”.

AICEP (the Portuguese agency for external investment and commerce) already has signed contracts this year that represent 92% of the value of the “best year ever which was 2019″, said the PM.

“We’re in July, there is still a lot of work to do, but there is the opportunity that in 2021 we will beat the record of 2019”.

The goal is possible, the Socialist PM reiterated – suggesting that the first trimester of this year has actually seen record investment in Portugal.

Although we may be “looking at the importance of European funds” right now, “we should not forget that beside those European funds there is the capacity of the Portuguese State, through its budget, to support investment just like the case of these four contracts that we have come here to celebrate”.

This was thus a very ‘political feelgood moment’, with Mr Costa enthusing on the “enormous effort of private investment that we cannot nor should not undervalue. Quite the opposite, we should be full of praise.

“All forecasts for the growth of the Portuguese economy this year and next predict that between 2021 and 2022 our economy will grow by 9%”, he continued.

With the acceleration of the country’s vaccination programme, this all translates into citizens being able to “look to the end of the summer and face the most important moment for the confidence and total liberation of society which is herd immunity”.

A master of political juggling, Mr Costa managed to present herd immunity (the likelihood of which still seems to divide experts) and business investment as a way of Portugal powering forwards to a future where jobs are sustained, employment opportunities grow and the economy flourishes.

For the first time in a very long time the country’s head of government seems to have ‘seen light at the end of the tunnel’.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com