30 December 2021

All outlets give prominence to reports the Directorate-General of Health is making a “technical reassessment” of the isolation period for those infected with Covid-19. Graça Freitas, the Director-General of Health is quoted in various outlets saying “the decision will be made in the coming hours”.

RTP claims there is chaos in the national health service, with people who are Covid-positive being unable to contact the Health 24 line, prompting the government to announce the recruitment of 750 more professionals by mid-January. DN reports António Araújo, national coordinator of the PSD National Strategic Council for Health, accusing the government of a “lack of planning and management”, arguing that “communication has been extremely sloppy, leading to the creation of widespread panic”.

An opinion poll in Expresso has PS on 38% ahead of the PSD on 31%, further noting the PS vote is down 2% on the previous month while the PSD is up 5%. CNN Portugal interviews Catarina Martins, leader of the Left Bloc party, who criticises António Costa’s government while stating her party will be willing to work with the PS after the elections, adding “there will only be a right-wing majority if the left does not vote, and the left will only not vote if it considers itself alienated by the Socialist Party”. Público notes the leaders of the Left Bloc and Communist Party will not take part in any of the cable TV leader debates, with the PCP saying the model proposed by television networks for these debates “does not guarantee basic principles of impartiality”.

CNN Portugal reports several hospitals in Lisbon and Porto are within 72 hours of facing energy price increases of 200-500% because of the health department’s failure to negotiate new service supply agreements with the electricity company, EDP. CNN Portugal also notes that Environment Minister Matos Fernandes has called for the government to have the tools necessary to “prevent abuses” in energy prices.

Dinheiro Vivo and Expresso report the government has approved €937 million tax investment contracts in 26 projects up to a maximum of €92 million each. A statement released by the cabinet says the investment will be “for the development of projects of particular interest to the national economy” and is expected to create 1,886 jobs by 2027, largely in manufacturing. Expresso notes Portugal 2020 has €6.4 billion left to invest by the end of 2023 from structural funds received from Europe in 2014, with Planning Minister, Nelson de Souza, saying he is “confident and satisfied” at having surpassed the target set for investment during this year of pandemic.

Dinheiro Vivo and Público carry a report from Lusa that the consumption of vehicle fuel fell by 5% in November as the price of diesel increased by 1.6%. Negócios reports debt defaults at a historic low of 1.5%, although the consumer organisation, DECO, says this is largely due to the sale of bad debt portfolios by the banks.

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