The troika ‘suits’ – or at least some of them – returned to Portugal today (Wednesday) for the first evaluation since Portugal exited the terms of its bailout. The team is expected to remain in talks in Lisbon for “around a week”.
Economic affairs spokesman for the European Commission, Simon O’Connor, told Lusa news agency that focus will be “the State Budget for 2015, structural reforms and the financial sector”, and coordinated with the IMF, although the visit is not the same “combined mission that there was during the (adjustment) programme”.
Lusa points out that these visits will continue for the next 21 years.
In the case of the IMF, assessors will be closely monitoring Portugal until 2022, while the EC will be continuing with periodic controls until 2035 – the date by which Portugal should have repaid 75% of its €78.26 billion bailout.
“Zombies” in the State Budget
Meantime, concern is mounting that Finance Minister Maria Luís Albuquerque has included “zombie expenses” in her projections for state spending next year.
According to national tabloid Correio da Manhã, the cases of companies and foundations that should be extinct but which continue to receive millions of euros is mounting.
CM points to the €19.6 million earmarked for the EMA (Empresa de Meios Aéreos), closure of which has been mooted for years, but which is now official, and €22.8 million for Parque Expo in Lisbon (where closure was announced in 2013).
As the Finance ministry guarantees that it is not over-spending anywhere by as much as a euro, these issues and many others will now be scrutinised by the moneymen from the troika.