Portugal’s economic adjustment programme is to be subject to an independent assessment within six months, officials from the ‘troika’ of institutions overseeing the country’s euro-zone bailout told representatives of its employer organisations and trade unions on Wednesday, according to those present at the meeting.
The announcement was made at the meeting in Lisbon as part of the 12th and final regular review of Portugal’s progress in implementing the terms of the bailout by officials from the International Monetary Fund, European Commission and European Central Bank.
According to António Saraiva, the president of Portugal’s main business confederation, the CIP, the independent review is to be a kind of “audit” of the programme and should be viewed with “normality”. João Vieira Lopes, the president of the trade and services confederation, the CCP, said the audit would assess the programme’s measures, impact and results.
However, the secretary-general of the CGTP trade union federation, Arménio Carlos, told journalists that the announcement meant that even after formally exiting the bailout, Portugal will continue “to have a police force” watching over it.
“We don’t know its face, but we know it’s independent, we don’t know the uniform, but we know it will be there,” he said.
But Carlos Silva of the rival union federation, the UGT, downplayed the news, saying it was up to citizens and the government to decide the country’s future.
ICO/ARO // ARO.
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