That expectations for the economy were exceeded should drive greater convergence between the political parties was the opening message from the Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho in Friday’s parliamentary debate overshadowed by the latest GDP figures.
“We have exceeded all of the expectations that were formulated and this should not provoke either any psychological depression or feed into any euphoria,” said the prime minister.
The results obtained should instead “invite” political actors “to converge more” and “bringing together those who support this government and those who compete to oppose it,” Passos Coelho continued.
He then highlighted the commitment by the opposition Socialist Party leader António José Seguro to reverse the restructuring of the national court system even though they had signed up to the original plans as an example of problems in the political system.
However, Seguro did not rise to the bait and instead stuck to the economy to paint the other side of the coin.
The Socialist leader pointed out that the 2013 recession was 0.4% than the government had originally predicted, the national debt now stood in the region of €200 billion, that there had been no real growth in jobs and even the recovery in internal demand was only due to the Constitutional Court decisions restoring holiday pay to the state sector and reversing cuts in pensions.
“We do not understand any reason for celebrations. There is no economic miracle. You are creating a fable for electoral purposes,” said Seguro
In turn, the prime minister pointed to the creation of 120,000 net new jobs since the second quarter of 2013 before accusing the opposition leader of being a siren of calamity “saying that there was a spiralling recession and that the deficit targets would never be met” throughout the last two years and that Seguro was angry at the good news.
“You cannot say I am angry. I am indignant because the prime minister spends his life deceiving the Portuguese,” retorted the opposition leader.