All outlets focus on the televised debate between former geringonça partners, PM António Costa and Jerónimo de Sousa, leader of the Communist Party (PCP). Separate debates between the leaders of smaller parties are also reported prominently.
Expresso, RTP, Lusa, TSF and DN report Socialist Partly (PS) leader and Prime Minister, António Costa telling PCP leader Jerónimo de Sousa the PS has no confidence in a new coalition and that there will be no “preferred partners” on the left, advising him to put all talk of a “common path” behind him, while Jerónimo, in turn, accused Costa of provoking the elections by refusing to seek compromise with his government’s partners on the left. Público notes both leaders accuse the other of causing the collapse of the government, while CNN Portugal claims Costa entered the debate with the intention of blaming the PCP for defeating the 2022 state budget in an “act of political irresponsibility”. Lusa reports Jerónimo distancing himself from Left Bloc (BE) leader Catarina Martins’ claim Prime Minister Costa is “an obstacle”, arguing that it is better to be “on the inside than standing out in the cold”.
Expresso, TSF and DN report on the “friendly” debate between the BE’s Catarina Martins and Rui Tavares of Livre, with Martins accusing Tavares of “naivety” and Tavares accusing Martins of “intransigence”. RTP adds that both leaders would like to have a written agreement on the left after the elections.
Expresso, RTP and Público comment on the debate between Popular Party (CDS) president, Francisco Rodrigues dos Santos, and People-Animals-Nature (PAN) spokeswoman, Inês Sousa Real, which was dominated by bullfighting and in which the leaders agreed about very little.
TSF notes that omicron already accounts for 90% of Covid infections in Portugal. The first cases of the strain were detected in the country in late November.
Dinheiro Vivo and Negócios report the Treasury and Public Debt Management Agency saying the government borrowing requirement for 2022 has risen to €10.9 billion to pay down the deficit and fund possible increases in aid to companies and public bodies.
Dinheiro Vivo, Expresso and Público carry a report from Statistics Portugal saying overall consumer confidence and the economic climate stabilised in December after months of decline, although confidence in trade and services continues to fall.