19 January 2022

The election campaign continues to dominate the news in Portugal, with most outlets reporting on the final televised debate of the campaign, this time involving the leaders of 11 parties that do not have representation in parliament. Most outlets also report on the former owner of the national airline calling on PM Costa to apologise for comments he made about him during the debate between the leaders of the PS and PSD.

Coverage of the election campaign continues with Lusa quoting PM Costa restating his call for an absolute majority that will ensure four years of ‘stability and tranquillity’. DN notes that opposition leader, Rui Rio, has also called for his party to receive an absolute majority. DN and Público report on the fallout from the debates, with CDS leader Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos saying he agreed with Former TAP shareholder David Neeleman that PM Costa owes him an apology for a slight on his ‘name and reputation’ when the PM said the airline was bought to prevent Neeleman, ‘who did not deserve the people’s confidence’, from ‘bankrupting TAP as he had so many of his other companies’.

CNN Portugal has the first tracking poll following the debate between PM Costa and Rio, which shows that support for the PSD has risen 1.6 percentage points to 30.4% while support for the PS has fallen by 0.3 to 39.8%.

Lusa, Público, Expresso and DN report on the final televised debate, which involved the leaders of 11 parties without parliamentary representation, suggesting the most interesting part of the debate was the power cut that blacked out screens midway through.

RTP and CNN Portugal carry a report from the National Institute of Health that the new BA2 strain of the Omicron variant, which is responsible for 93% of coronavirus infections in Portugal, has been detected in the country.

Lusa carries a report from Vinci, the owners of Portuguese Airports (ANA), which says the company handled 24.8 million passengers in 2021, up 39% on 2020 but down 58% on 2019, before the pandemic.

Expresso, Negócios and Lusa report that the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Action has received bids from EDP, Endesa, Tejo Energia, Greenvolt, Brookfield & Bondalti and Voltalia for the conversion of the Pego coal-fired power plant in Abrantes in central Portugal, with most committing to a mix of solar, wind, battery storage and hydrogen power.

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