The debate between the prime minister and the leader of the Left Bloc, this Friday on RTP, was marked by the willingness of both party leaders to continue to dialogue after the October 6 parliamentary elections, if agreements need to be secured in Parliament.
Catarina Martins, who in a debate four years ago put Costa a set of conditions for the parties to dialogue after the 2015 elections, began by being asked what conditions it presents to maintain this dialogue in the next legislature.
The leader of the Left Bloc did not give a concrete answer, but between the lines showed that it will be available for understanding with the PS, because the party is "proud" of the achievements achieved in this legislature, such as the increase in the minimum wage. Now "there is a lot to be done and the BE does not lack any solution that pulls on employment conditions, wages for the stability of people's living conditions," he said.
The same question was posed to António Costa, who praised the “success” of what was done in this legislature and which showed openness to post-electoral understandings. "I have not opened a dialogue with BE, PCP and Greens to be the one to close it now," he said, stressing, however, that post-election dialogue should be "extended" not only to the bloc but also to other parties.
The cordial tone with which the debate began gradually became more tense as issues specific to the electoral programs of both parties were addressed. Costa fired off by stating that Catarina Martins' party had “unrealistic” proposals, such as an increase of € 30 billion in state spending on public investments or the strengthening of public services.
“A Government program is not a list of Christmas gifts. Thirty billion is 15% of GDP. It's unrealizable, ”he said, pointing to the proposed nationalization of the bloc. “Block is not a program totaling 27 billion euros to nationalize ANA, CTT, REN, EDP and REN. Spending 10 billion to nationalize Galp is the same expense as the National Health Service. I will not spend this money from the Portuguese to nationalize ”, he criticized.
Catarina Martins accused Costa of "caricaturing" a "reasonable proposal" that deserves consensus on the left, noting that PS himself, four years ago, understood the need to reverse the privatization of public transport and TAP, without having to buy all the capital of the airline to have control.
“The PS does not have accounts in the Electoral Program, refers them to the Stability Program. And the Stability Program accounts are a little weird. There is no money to increase civil servants and cuts in special civil service careers are planned, without explaining how, ”he said.