17 February 2022

Most outlets focus on the National Election Commission’s decision to hold in-person voting in the Europe Circuit election on 12 and 13 March and to accept postal votes until 23 March, meaning the final election result will not be known until 25 March, which will delay the inauguration of the new government and, consequently, the 2022 budget. Media sources also report on the meeting between politicians and experts at the National Authority for Medicines and Health Products and the possibility that Covid restrictions may be relaxed sooner rather than later.

Following the decision of the Constitutional Court to annul and re-run the European Circuit election, Lusa, RTP, Expresso, Público, CNN PT and DN all report the National Election Commission’s announcement that in-person voting in 139 of the approximately 200 polling stations in this constituency will take place on 12 and 13 March while postal votes will be counted if they are received by 23 March. Público and CNN PT state the votes will be counted on 22 and 23 March and if there are no further appeals the results will be published on 25 March, meaning the earliest the new parliament and government can be sworn in will be 28 March, with RTP saying the inauguration may even be delayed until April. Público claims this delay will throw the budget process back to at least until mid-May, with it now being unlikely that the 2022 State Budget will be passed into law before July. CNN PT quotes André Ventura, leader of right-wing populist party Chega, praising the Constitutional Court’s “sensible” and his promise that his party “will do everything in our power to take a deputy from the PSD” in the new election.

Lusa carries a report from the National Electoral Commission on the annulled Europe Circuit election, claiming it found that some parties had “truncated” the Commission’s 2019 opinion by incorrectly interpreting it as waiving the need for postal voters to present a copy of an identification document.

RTP and Expresso report on yesterday’s meeting between political leaders and experts at the National Authority for Medicines and Health Products with a view to lifting some of the Covid restrictions. They note that the parties are pleased with the prospect of relief from the restrictions imposed, with the PSD calling for the measures to be lifted progressively and the parties on the right calling for an immediate end to all restrictions. Health Minister Marta Temido says she expects the country will soon move into level 1, which will end the need to present digital vaccination certificates to access restaurants, limiting the situations in which facemasks are required to be worn and ending the requirement to work from home where possible.

Dinheiro Vivo publishes a report from the National Authority for Fuel Market (ENSE) noting the average retail price of diesel and petrol rose by 2.3 and 3.0 cents per litre, respectively, in the week ending 14 February. It now costs €91 and €85 to fill up a 50-litre tank with petrol and diesel, respectively.

Expresso and Jornal de Notícias note a report from the Energy Services Regulatory Authority that notes the retail price of butane and propane gas cylinders has increased by almost 17% since price regulations were removed nine months ago. This means the price of these products have increased five times faster than general inflation in 2021 and more than the total average for energy products (11.18% in December) and almost double the price charged in neighbouring Spain..

Público and Visão pick up a Lusa report stating EDP Renováveis has reported profits of €655 million in 2021 to the Portuguese Securities Market Commission. This represents an 18% increase compared to 2020. The company, based in Madrid but listed on the Lisbon stock exchange, informed the market that the 2021 bottom line was “mainly” due to higher capital gains, lower finance costs, and greater energy generation than 2020.

Expresso cites EDP and EDP Renováveis CEO Miguel Stilwell de Andrade claiming at a presentation on the company’s clean energy programme that “the worst is behind us” in relation to rises in costs in the value chain last year, although he goes on to say he does not see “any change in demand” for renewable energy assets “based on a reversal of the interest rate cycle”, as “there are many investors with big appetites”. However, he does expect them to take the cost of debt into account when doing business.

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