"Portugal is fashionable and António Costa works well with luck" – The Economic Journal


António Saraiva is in the history of the Portuguese business movement as the "boss of the bosses" – joined the CIP, AIP and AEP around the Portuguese Business Confederation. Since January 2010 he chairs the CIP, where he will complete his third term. António Saraiva says that the tax burden of the Portuguese "is unsustainable"; that the unpredictability of tax rules is the worst thing Finance can do to businesses; that the current contraption is not repeatable; that the PS will win the next elections; and that António Costa is not only "a man with luck", as "has the merit of working well luck".

How do you review the mandates of your CIP leadership?
It was 10 years when so much happened. The country entered an adjustment program, we went through a period of austerity, the entry and the demands of the troika, the banking restructuring, the deleveraging that was made to the Portuguese economy, with the 45 billion that the bank withdrawn from the companies, which also had fragility in their structure of insufficient accounts and equity.

And has the capital shortage improved?
We continue to have it. The vast majority of companies, despite the adjustment they have been making, are de-capitalized. At the same time, there is a more accurate perception of risk on the part of the banking entities – in the popular knowledge of the "cold water poached cat is afraid" – and the Portuguese companies no longer have access to credit of others because the rules of regulation and supervision determined. Portuguese companies had to find a different way of accessing finance. With the economy undergoing an adjustment program and suffering a deleveraging, employment was resentful. Most companies were forced to a painful adjustment, significantly reducing their staffing. In addition to the disappearance of some, there were restructuring of others. The families, with all the tax burden that was launched and the income reduction it entailed, went through a period of painful therapy.

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