"If the two parties have no head, they spend five more years in the opposition," said the former PSD president and current State Councilor at a dinner-debate with the centrist and former MEP Diogo Feio, a member of the Youth Popular (JP), to be held in Peniche, Leiria, until Sunday.
For Marques Mendes, the two parties are "condemned" to understand each other in the future, as has happened in the past, and warned that the country, ruling by the PS with the support of PCP and BE "lives anesthetized."
"The opposition has to do more than it does," he advised, repeating the phrase twice, although he did not say what, specifically. He added that "Dr. António Costa rubs his hands in contentment because he has a new victory ahead. "
The former president of the Social Democrats said that the PS, which "does not have a reformist DNA", "walks the wheel of world growth, which is neat, European growth, who is neat."
The result, he admitted, may not be "a return to bankruptcy" in 2011, but the country "will go back" and today "is already in the tail" of Europe in terms of growth.
"The country lives in a climate of anesthesia; it seems that everything is fine, but it is not, "he said. Continuing to use medical metaphors, Mendes said that "there is only a little constipation in Europe" and Portugal has "pneumonia in it" because it is not taking advantage of reforms in this time of "fat cows."
He even notices "signs of nervousness in the stock markets" in the United States, Asia because Europe, including Portugal, is not making such reforms.
Marques Mendes, who said he was "out of politics" and "without plans to return," recalled that in 2015 he was the first to admit that PSD and CDS could win the elections, but to be able to form a " ", From PS with the left.
Looking back to the recent past, and before an audience of young centrist militants in silence, he also considered that "if PSD and CDS had managed the last year [de governação] in a different way, they would have won the absolute majority. "
At the beginning of his speech, on a blue stage where he was invited to speak about Portugal in Europe, Luís Marques Mendes warned that Portugal "has to have a different economic growth strategy" and "grow above the European average and, ideally, above of 3%. "
"If not, it does not win the European challenge," he added, criticizing after the government to make the "party, throw rockets and pick up the canes" with a growth of 2%, one of the lowest in the European Union. As "clues" to the future, he defended "more fiscal competitiveness", a bet on the internationalization of the economy, taking advantage to praise the work of former CDS leader Paulo Portas in the Government, and control the "public debt."
This debt is a "retarder's bomb" and could infect the country with pneumonia if Europe has a cold, he added. Mendes went back to using the image of the fable to say that it is necessary "a policy that is not only the cicada but also the ant" and that one can not "just distribute, one must create wealth".
Diogo Feio, director of the school of cadres at JP and CDS, who presented himself as a centrist and a convinced Europeanist, responded to Mendes's challenge, saying that the CDS "is not allowed to settle" and "has to speak for the entire electorate ". And without referring to the internal debate in the PSD leadership dispute at the beginning of the year, when much discussed with the Socialists, Feio recalled the position of his party "will never ally PS." The CDS, he stressed, wants to be "alternative to the PS" and "will never be his partner," he said.