Costa warns of positions that legitimize "right-wing discourse" – The Economic Journal

Costa warns of positions that legitimize "right-wing discourse" - The Economic Journal

In an interview with the Público newspaper, the prime minister says that Europe has had difficulty identifying the causes and, above all, "finding the best therapies" for nationalist advances and adding that "the most dangerous" is when demoliberal parties consider that the best response to this phenomenon is to "mimic" some of these proposals.

"We see some parties, be they liberals, conservatives and even Social Democrats to have on immigration positions that, in the end, legitimize the right-wing discourse," warns António Costa.

The socialist leader said in the interview that the issue of immigration risks creating "painful" divisions in the European Union, proposing a more pragmatic approach to avoiding the risk of repeating "the same mistakes made with the management of the euro zone", creating an east- west that may prove to be "overly expensive".

Costa argues that, although he does not share the positions of the Visegrad countries and considers it "absurd" to reject the "derisory" quotas that have been imposed on them attributed, it is also "absurd, from the European point of view", to deepen this east-west divide "because of 4 thousand people."

It also regretted that Portugal could not negotiate bilateral agreements with Hungary, Poland or the Czech Republic to accommodate the refugees who were destined for them.

"There is also a lot of pragmatism, common sense and focus on solving problems, rather than creating divisions that, as we learned from the euro crisis, are very painful," he said.

António Costa argues that the issue of the euro, which is essential to "ensure the survival of Europe", is not resolved and considers that the crisis of demoliberal values ​​in many European Union countries has led to events such as the election of Donald Trump in the United States or Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, is a political reaction to the increase in inequalities that hit the "violent" middle classes.

For the Prime Minister, the growth of radical movements results from the realization that there are no alternatives within the traditional parties or the center, creating a complex problem for the European Union.

"People have to feel that within the democratic camp they have alternative choices – without having to generate movements like the Yellow Vests and without having to give their vote to radical parties or to enter into antisystem breaks through nationalism," he points out, defending a return of social democracy to its fundamental values ​​to "reconcile the middle classes with Europe."

In the extensive interview given to Público, the prime minister also addressed economic and financial issues such as the European budget, arguing that the priority should be "to finance reforms to improve convergence", without prejudice to the stabilization function "in the face of asymmetric shocks."

He emphasizes that with the departure of the United Kingdom, Europe will have "new expenses and fewer revenues" and suggests that the question is whether European taxes can be created, defending taxation on American technological giants "that does not affect any Portuguese and restores fiscal equality. "

It also pointed to the need for the eurozone not to be "a space of internal competition between countries", but rather a space of competition on a global scale, without the European economy concentrating "in a small central nucleus with the economic desertification of the peripheries" .

António Costa also expressed his support for Europe "not close to the world" and establish relations "with all the new international players", such as China, provided they comply with European rules.

"The world is very different today. Three years ago, in Davos, I was quite surprised to see the Chinese President make the speech that was supposed to be made by the American president; and the American President to make a speech that the Chinese President was supposed to make, "declares the governor, noting also the" trust "relationship of more than 500 years of Portugal with China.

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