Moscovici gives Portugal the benefit of the doubt

  • ECO News
  • 27 October 2016

Pierre Moscovici validated Mário Centeno’s interpretation of the letter sent by the Commission. He highlighted it is not a “threat”, but the information must be received until Friday.

Portugal “seems to be inside the criteria”, said this Wednesday the European commissioner Pierre Moscovici, giving Portugal the benefit of the doubt and validating the interpretation made by the minister of Finance Mário Centeno, that the Commission had only asked for further information in the letter they sent to the ministry of Finance.

In the press conference about taxation in Brussels, the Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs explained: “Portugal seems to be consistent with the rules, but we are looking for further clarifications to ensure we can confirm our views”.

Moscovici added this is a first instance of an open and constructive dialogue between Portugal and the Commission, before any formal opinion about the Draft Budgetary Plan is presented. The commissioner made the reminder that this Friday is the deadline for the delivery of the information requested.

In the document, signed by Valdis Dombrovskis, vice-president of the Commission, and by Pierre Moscovici himself, it is stated that Brussels “projects a slight improvement of the structural balance”, point for a risk of “significant deviation from the recommended improvement of at least 0.6% GDP”.  The letter clarifies the EC’s evaluation being worse derives from a “less optimistic” macroeconomic scenario and the lack of specification of the measures announced by the Portuguese government.