Portuguese PM: “The 2016 deficit will not surpass the 2.3% threshold”

  • ECO News
  • 19 January 2017

The Portuguese prime minister commended once again the path taken by the ministry of Finance in 2016. António Costa assured this Tuesday in Parliament that the deficit will not be over 2.3%.

The Portuguese prime minister confirms what he has been rejoicing about over the past few months: António Costa stated once again that the deficit will be below 2.5%, the goal set by the European Commission. In the fortnightly debate in Parliament, the prime minister went even further and had a more concrete goal for correcting the 2.4% deficit expected in the 2017 State Budget forecast: “The 2016 deficit will not surpass the 2.3% threshold”.

António Costa started off the debate by recalling that a year ago he had presented a demanding challenge, a challenge that “many” had “repeatedly” doubted he could overcome. “They insisted there were no alternatives for the previous government’s policies”, António Costa recalled.

“For months on end, I was asked about a plan B”, Costa states, yet “the 2016 deficit will not be over 2.3%”, he assured. “Yes, we complied with our commitments”, the PM stated, adding that the opposition was wrong: “It turns out, there really was an alternative”.

When the fortnightly debate was over, the prime minister spoke to the press to reinforce the fact that Portugal had in 2016 “the lowest deficit ever seen in the Portuguese democracy”, an accomplishment “achieved without reducing salaries or pensions, without a plan B and with a tax burden decrease”.

“Portuguese debt will decrease”, states the minister for the Economy

In an interview to Bloomberg, in Davos, the Portuguese minister for the Economy Caldeira Cabral assured the Portuguese debt is decreasing and that the government expects that decline to continue. This assurance is based on the October and November values, a period in which public debt decreased with the anticipated payments to the IMF. However, September was a month of an all-time high: sovereign debt reached 133.1% GDP.