Jerónimo Martins criticises Portugal’s pandemic management

  • ECO News
  • 4 March 2021

CEO of Jerónimo Martins criticised the way Portugal planned the fight against the pandemic. He compares it with Poland, praising the country's rigorous planning and discipline.

Jerónimo Martins sees the Polish economy recovering strongly in the second half of this year, while the recovery in Portugal will only happen a year later. The company’s CEO left some criticism on how the response to the pandemic in Portugal was planned. “The greater the unknown, the greater the importance of rigorous planning and organisational discipline. And in this, the Poles were much better than the Portuguese. This, undeniably, was a failure in Portugal,” Pedro Soares dos Santos said at a press conference with journalists about last year’s results.

Soares dos Santos refused to make comments on the health situation, because he recognised that “managing crises is difficult, the pressure is very high, the complexity brought by the pandemic surprised everyone and everything”. Nevertheless, he gave his vision on how the two countries where Jerónimo Martins does business have fought the pandemic and how this will translate into the recovery of the two economies.

“In Poland, I foresee that in the second half of the year there may be a big upturn, because the Polish government has always been very concerned not to close the economy, and to protect the economy and employment. These were two things that they always had as a great goal, so I think that the recovery will happen as soon as there is a certain confidence in the vaccination and people feel some security,” stated the company’s CEO.

For Portugal, the prospects are different and come with a year’s delay. “The way we forecast and have planned for Portugal, in the second half of 2022 we see some recovery,” he said.