Summary of new PM Antonio Costa’s inauguration speech

  • Lusa
  • 31 March 2022

In his speech, António Costa, accepted that since January 30 "circumstances have changed, the context is adverse", but he later referred that the government has not given up its objectives.

The prime minister on Wednesday promised that his new government will have an attitude of “courage and ambition” even if faced with “storms and tempests”, saying that the government’s programme “is well known” and will be approved on Thursday.

“The Government’s programme is well known. It is the electoral programme that we presented to the Portuguese people, and which tomorrow [Thursday] we will formally approve in the Cabinet, so that next week we can discuss it in the proper place, parliament”, said António Costa in his inaugural speech as prime minister of the 23rd Constitutional Government.

In his speech, at the National Palace of Ajuda, in Lisbon, António Costa, accepted that since January 30 “circumstances have changed, the context is adverse”, but he later referred that the government has not given up its objectives.

“The Portuguese demand that we recover the time lost with a political crisis that they did not want, continuing the path we have been following and moving towards a fairer, more prosperous and more innovative country. That is the courage and ambition that this government guarantees. It was in this expectation that the Portuguese gave us a vote of confidence and it is this confidence that we want to honour,” he stated.

António Costa started his inauguration speech addressing words of “deep gratitude” to the outgoing team that “faced the storm” of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He began by recalling the words he spoke on 26 October 2019, when he was sworn in for the second time as prime minister.

“This is a government for good times and for bad times. And the bigger the storm, the greater our determination to get through it. Recalled today, those words seem like a premonition of what we were going to have to face with the terrible pandemic that two months later began to dominate the world and which also hit us hard.” he noted.

Therefore, António Costa said that his first words would have to be “of recognition and profound gratitude to the team that leaves office today for the determination with which it faced the storm: ensuring the response capacity of the national health service and success in vaccination; and ensuring, through an exceptional mobilisation of measures to support companies, employment and income, that the economy has resumed growth, that company investment and employment are at historic highs, that public debt is already reducing again and that the deficit is below three per cent”.

He considered that the absolute majority of the PS corresponds to the absolute responsibility of those who govern and that stability is not synonymous of immobility, promising political and social dialogue and institutional solidarity with the country’s president.

“The absolute majority corresponds to an absolute responsibility for those who govern. The Portuguese resolved the political crisis in the elections and guaranteed stability until October 2026. Stability is not synonymous with immobility, but rather with the need for ambition and the opportunity to achieve it”, he declared.