The prime ministers of Portugal and Italy have agreed that the European Commission has worsened its economic forecasts for all member state.
The prime ministers of Portugal and Italy have agreed that the worsening negative forecasts of the economy made by the European Commission require an agreement between the 27 member states at the next European Council meeting.
This common position on the European Council on 17 and 18 was transmitted by António Costa and Giuseppe Conte at a press conference in São Bento on Tuesday evening after a meeting of about an hour and before a working dinner between the two heads of government.
Both António Costa and Giuseppe Conte referred to the fact that the European Commission has worsened its economic forecasts for all member states. In the case of Portugal, it is now estimated that GDP (Gross Domestic Product) will contract by 9.8%, well above the previous projection of 6.8%, but also that of the government, of 6.9%.
The Portuguese prime minister said that the European Commission’s forecasts “clearly show the urgency of reaching an agreement” at this month’s European Council.
“There was a general downward revision of economic forecasts for Europe as a whole and Portugal saw a very significant reduction. We are now one-tenth below the EU average”, he said.
António Costa went on to say that his government already “has a habit of working against forecasts – and that is what will be done”.
However, Costa has mainly defended the European Commission’s proposals for a recovery fund (with an overall value of €750 billion) and a Multiannual Financial Framework (2021/2027).
“As the Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte, said here, this proposal from the European Commission is a whole and it is very difficult to move a component without dismantling the proposal as a whole. Each of us can start saying which is the best criterion, but if we do that we will not reach an agreement. We have to move forward with ambition because the situation is very serious throughout Europe, namely unemployment”, warned António Costa.