2 February 2022

Some outlets continue to focus on the aftermath of Sunday’s election that gave the PS an absolute majority and the effect on the parties to the left of the PS and how the result curtails the President’s powers. There are several reports on an attempted coup in Portugal’s former colony of Guinea Bissau. A number of outlets also mention the seizure of goods belonging to the family of disgraced former banker João Rendeiro.

Lusa, RTP and DN all report on an attempted coup against the government of President Umaro Sissoco Embaló in the former Portuguese colony of Guinea Bissau. An armed group is reported to have stormed the presidential palace. President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa is reported to have spoken with President Sissoco Embaló, who was quoted as saying “There were many dead, but I am fine”.

The fall-out from Sunday’s election continues with CNN PT examining the new challenges facing President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa following the PS’s election win, which has resulted in him losing room for manoeuvre given his constitutional powers over parliament can be overridden by the PS’s parliamentary majority. Público says that despite losing heavily in Sunday’s election and fearing the PS absolute majority, neither leader of former geringonça parties, Catarina Martins of the Left Bloc (BE) and Jerónimo de Sousa of the Communist Party (PCP), will resign.

RTP and Expresso report on the Judicial Police raid on the various homes of the family of disgraced former banker João Rendeiro and the seizure of paintings, works of art, furniture and cutlery. The Banco Privado Português requested the goods be seized to be used as a guarantee for the injured parties in the case against its former president.

Expresso notes that livestock producers in the northern Alto Douro region that has been affected by a prolonged drought are calling on the government to provide them with support, with one shepherd saying “if it doesn’t rain by mid-February the animals will die of thirst and the grass won’t grow on the pastures”.

Público states Portugal’s public debt from the Maastricht point of view fell to 127.5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2021, a reduction of 7.7 percentage points compared to 2020, according to the Bank of Portugal. At the end of 2021, Portugal’s public debt totalled €269.6 billion, €900 million less than at the end of 2020. DN carries a Bank of Portugal report stating Portugal still has some of the highest ratios in Europe and that it is almost €20 billion more in debt than in 2019, adding that the public debt burden is not expected to return to pre-covid levels (116.6% of GDP) until the Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) ends in 2026 or later.

Lusa reports that the European Commission has transferred €18.5 billion to Portugal as part of the Portugal 2020 programme, more than two-thirds of the total amount allocated, according to the EU funds bulletin.

Expresso notes that 2021 was a record year for the installation of new solar power capacity in Portugal, according to data published by the Directorate General of Energy and Geology (DGEG). The figures show that at the end of the year the country produced 1,777 megawatts (MW) of solar power, 701 MW more than the previous year.

Dinheiro Vivo and Lusa note that electricity consumption fell 6.7% in January, compared to the same period the previous year. The grid operator Redes Energéticas Nacionais said the reduction was due to the above-normal temperatures in the first month of the year and that the abnormally low temperatures in January 2021 made it the month with the highest ever electricity consumption in Portugal.

Público and Lusa report that the Empresa Portuguesa das Águas Livres (EPAL) will increase the price of water for the vast majority of its domestic customers.

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