1 February 2022

The aftermath of Sunday’s election continues to dominate the media. PM Costa’s ability to govern without compromise is analysed. The change to the political landscape with the fragmentation of the right and the rise of the smaller parties is also examined. The forthcoming battle to succeed Rui Rio as leader of the PSD is also being discussed widely. 

RTP quotes PM António Costa repeating his claim that his parliamentary majority does not mean absolute power and that he will work with other parties. CNN PT  speaks with former PSD minister José Luís Arnau, who says it is “important to have this absolute majority” for the country to move forward and that Costa cannot blame the Left Bloc (BE) and Communist Party (PCP) if things don’t go right. Público highlights a number of PS policies that can now move forward, including tax reductions and increases to pensions.

Lusa quotes the leader of the PSD in Lisbon, Ângelo Pereira, stating that Sunday was “the worst defeat” for the party in 47 years, while also praising Rui Rio for not giving in “to pressure from journalists” to announce his resignation. CNN PT reports on PSD leader Rui Rio’s decision to convene a political commission later this week to begin the process of finding a new leader. DN claims the PSD is now in a state of crisis and that challengers are now lining up to succeed Rui Rio as party leader.

DN speaks with former Popular Party (CDS) MEP João Almeida, who said Sunday’s results “were too bad, they were terrible” for one of the founding parties of Portuguese democracy.

RTP and Expresso examine the realignment of the Portuguese political landscape and the rise of small parties such as Chega, whose campaign focus was on “forgotten Portugal”, strengthened its vote in the country’s interior, and Liberal Initiative (IL) and the fall of the medium-sized ones like the Popular Party. However, Público notes that had the PSD and CDS run in a coalition as they had in 2015, they would have prevented the PS from winning an absolute majority.

In economic news, Lusa and Dinheiro Vivo report that S&P Global believes the absolute majority won by the PS in the legislative elections will ensure continued budgetary discipline, with a visible reduction in the public deficit and debt this year, helped by the recovery of the economy and the inflow of European funds and the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP), that will further improve forecasts for the deficit in 2021. Expresso notes that António Saraiva, president of the Confederation of Portuguese Business, hopes the election result will provide the “political stability” necessary for the introduction of reforms that are required to begin to change the country’s development model.

Expresso and Publico note the National Statistics Agency saying Inflation in Portugal is continuing, reaching 3.3% in January. In relation to the effect on energy and food prices, the agency estimates that the year-on-year rate of change in the energy product index will be 12%, while the index for unprocessed food products will have increased by 3.4% in January.

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