Tuesday, November 24, 2015

New government for Portugal

Portuguese President Aníbal Cavaco Silva has designated Socialist Party leader António Costa as Prime Minister (PS). (La hora de los socialistas en Portugal Página/12 24.11.2015; São José Almeida, Governo de combate político coloca Assuntos Europeus no MNE Público.pt 24.11.2015

Portugal's political turmoil set to end as Antonio Costa named prime minister Euronews 11/24/2015:

This means that the left majority of PS, the Left Bloc, and Communists is effectively taking power. The actual arrangement is that the Socialists are forming a minority government with the tolerance (as it's called in parliamentary systems) of the other left parties. That means they vote to support the government and Costa as Prime Minister, but don't get ministries.

Andrei Khalip and Axel Bugge report in Socialist Costa to head Portuguese government with uneasy far-left backing Reuters/Yahoo! News:

The Socialist Party (PS) has promised to end years of harsh austerity, increase families' disposable incomes and help the poor, who suffered during Portugal's debt crisis and a bailout that ended last year, while still cutting the deficit in line with Portugal's European commitments.

Together with the far-left Communists and Left Bloc, Costa two weeks ago toppled the minority centre-right coalition that had returned to power after winning most votes in an election on Oct. 4 but losing its overall majority.
Left Bloc deputy Marisa Matias is understandably optimistic about the present moment. She tells an interviewer, "A new Portugal is being born." (Maria João Lopes, “Há um Portugal novo que está a nascer” Público.pt 24.11.2015)

But getting António Costa as Prime Minister is scarcely the storming of the Bastille. Much less the Winter Palace.

The PS has previously supported the EU's (Merkel's) austerity policies in Portugal. It's heartening to see that they are now willing to attempt some kind of pushback. We'll see how it works out.

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