4×4: Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa promulgates the 2017 State Budget

  • ECO News
  • 22 December 2016

The President of the Portuguese Republic approved the 2017 State Budget and justifies the promulgation with four reasons and took the chance to leave four hints about the upcoming challenges.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said this Wednesday, in an announcement to the country, that he promulgated the 2017 State Budget. The President of the Portuguese Republic stated that due to the fact that he followed closely the debate and the voting of the document, he was able to promulgate it “right after” receiving it.

The 2017 State Budget reached the Belém Palace – the headquarters of the Portuguese Republic – in an electronic version on Tuesday and yesterday on paper, according to a source close to the President to the Portuguese news agency Lusa; the President’s interest was, however, to promulgate the document as quickly as possible.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who spoke without any written speech, presented four reasons for the approval of the 2017 State Budget so quickly – which, he underlined, does not mean he necessarily agrees “with everything, in politically or juridical terms” of what is inscribed in the document. His reasons are mainly concerned with the country’s stability, but also with the threat of external instability.

  1. The fact the 2016 budget execution “points to a value the European Commission finds acceptable”.
  2. The deficit predicted in the 2016 State Budget “also points to a value the European Commission finds acceptable”. Both this and the previous reason “demonstrate a concern for financial rigour”.
  3. The importance financial and political stability has for the consolidation of the banking system.
  4. The complex year filled with international uncertainty, both in Europe and in the world.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa spoke to the country in Belém, translated by a sign language interpreter. Paula Nunes / ECO

After presenting his reasons for having promulgated the State Budget for the upcoming year so quickly – by law, he had 20 days to do so –, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa took the chance to name four challenges the government will have to face in order to comply with the SB that was just promulgated:

  1. The “world and Europe’s unpredictability”, right away regarding the upcoming elections in many European countries, as well as the negotiations around Brexit.
  2. The need to bear in mind the banking system’s consolidation, which the President considers is essential in order for a country to properly function.
  3. The need to have more economic growth.
  4. In order to reach the goal of having more economic growth, it is important to commit to increasing exports and investment which, among other factors, will also help the Portuguese population have more savings.

The Parliament approved the 2017 State Budget in a final voting on November 29: the PS (Socialist Party), BE (Left Block), PCP (Portuguese Communist Party), PEV (Greens) and PAN (People-Animals-Nature party) voted in favor of the state budget, while the right-wing parties voted against it – the PSD (Social Democratic Party) and CDS-PP (Democratic and Social Centre Party – People’s Party).