"António Costa loses an absolute majority that was almost within reach" – Jornal Econômico

"António Costa loses an absolute majority that was almost within reach" - Jornal Econômico

Luís Marques Mendes, in his usual comment space at SIC, said that "António Costa loses an absolute majority that was almost within his reach." Recognizing that the prime minister is tired because of the intense international agenda, he said that "António Costa is capable of 8 and 80, of the best and the worst. He is able to stop António José Seguro and then lose elections with Passos Coelho. It is capable of doing the contraption and then throwing away a majority that was within reach, "he said.

The PS already had 21 points of difference for the PSD and now has only 7.

The commentator admits that there may be a negative surprise for the PS Government. "The appointments of family members, labor issues, all this irritates people," said Marques Mendes.

António Costa forced Mário Centeno to stay in the Government which shows the strength of the Minister of Finance and the fragility of António Costa. "Mário Centeno is the electoral trump" of the Government. "The question is whether being in the next government is also of interest to Mario Centeno. Is that with the cooling of the economy it will not have in the future as good conditions as it has until now, "he said.

"It is the first time that I see such a dependence on a Government of its Minister of Finance," said the political commentator.

"The elections are always very difficult elections for the Government," he said, considering that this was a mistake of the prime minister.

In his commentary, Marques Mendes also revealed that Jerónimo de Sousa, leader of the PCP, opened the door for the first time to a new contraption. The secretary general of the PCP, Jerónimo de Sousa, defended Sunday that the current political solution, although "insufficient and limited", allowed "to open a crack in the wall of the fortress of right-wing politics."

As for the study on the future of Social Security, he recalled that "the debate is useful, because this problem is serious and it touches everyone".

Minister Vieira da Silva's criticism was, in the opinion of the commentator, exaggerated when he said that this study was a private order. "Even because the study is done by a public institution, the Institute of Social Sciences is public, and funded by the private foundation Manuel dos Santos Foundation. The study says that retirement age has to rise to 69 years to avoid breaking the system.

This study points out problems and solutions, "we may disagree with the solutions to the future of social security," but the bottom line is that it draws attention to a problem that has four dimensions: accelerated aging of the population – hence more people to receive retirement pensions; the increase in life expectancy – thus, more pensioners to receive reforms for a longer period; the decline in population – so long as it does not compensate for this with a smart immigration policy, this means fewer assets and discounting and consequently less income for Social Security; the state of the economy – just a small cooling of the economy and a rise in unemployment to soon have more social spending and less revenue, "said Marques Mendes. The cooling of the world economy was forecast by the IMF this week.

"If there is something that justifies a Scheme Agreement, this is Social Security reform (because it is reform for one or more generations); but the right time to deal with this matter is at the beginning and not the end of a legislature, "he says.

Marques Mendes did not miss the contradictory speech of Mario Centeno in the interview with the FT, saying that the change in the austerity policy was not so great with the previous government. "The minister told the truth to the FT," he said. This is against official discourse. "Mário Centeno has his own agenda," he said.

But the truth is that austerity ended up for pensioners and civil servants, but it did not end for the middle class and public services.

"Surprisingly, Mario Centeno told the Financial Times that, after all, there was not a big and radical change in austerity policy. There was, yes, according to him, a smaller change, "recalled Marques Mendes.
"It is a political electoral nonsense," said the commentator who points out that these statements were a bonus for the opposition.

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