Portuguese President criticizes late economic growth and high debt in his New Year speech

  • ECO News
  • 3 January 2017

In his first speech as President of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa criticized the “high” public debt and the “late and insufficient” economic growth.

In his first speech of 2017 as President of the Portuguese Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa commended the efforts made during last year – among which the minimum wage agreement, the strengthening of the banking sector and the approval of the 2017 State Budget –, but he emphasized the need to continue working towards stability, growth and development of the country.

“Some steps have been taken – as small as they may have been – to correct injustices and we have been able to create a less divided, tense and negative feeling within the country and, internationally, a more trusting image, dismissing a possible imminent political crisis, financial collapse or social instability which many considered to be inevitable. All of this was our work – we, all Portuguese people”, stated Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

However, the President considers the steps given are still insufficient: “Our economic growth was late and insufficient; some social domains have suffered with financial cuts; public debt continues very high; the Portuguese justice system remains slow and therefore less fair (…)”.

Being so, the President considers that “while 2016 was a year to manage issues as they came, to stabilize politics and to worry about financial rigor, 2017 must be the year to have longer-term management and the year to define and execute a sustainable economic growth strategy”.

"We have entered 2016 fearing the worse. We end the year believing we can do better.”

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa

President of the Portuguese Republic

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa mentioned that 2016 was a year in which it was possible “to increase our self-esteem as a Nation”, highlighting examples such as the Web Summit, Portugal’s win in the Euro 2016 and the election of António Guterres as UN’s secretary-general.

The President of the Portuguese Republic highlighted about the Portuguese people that “when we want to, we are united in what is essential” and that “we work with competence, method and clear goals”, concluding that, when that is the case, “we are the best of the best”.

We have fulfilled our destiny, by building bridges, bringing people closer, and achieving what others are unable to. A new year begins today; in the dawn of a new day, we have to reaffirm our principles and know what needs to be done first.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa

President of the Portuguese Republic