21 January 2022

Election campaign news again dominates the media, with reports of opposition leader Rui Rio having to cancel campaign events to undergo a medical assessment. PM Costa’s rally in Évora is also widely reported, with the PS leader claiming an absolute majority is on the cards. Also widely covered are recent opinion polls showing the PS lead narrowing.

Lusa, CNN Portugal and DN report that PSD leader Rui Rio has cancelled his engagements this morning to undergo a medical examination following a series of nosebleeds. Público says that yesterday Rio claimed he has the members of his government in mind, suggesting one seat for the Popular Party (CDS) and another, perhaps Defence, for the Liberal Initiative (IL).

Lusa notes PM Costa accused the PSD of opening the Social Security system to the private sector, leaving pensions at the “mercy of the market”. Expresso focuses on the PS leader’s assertion during a rally in Évora that “for the first time, I think an absolute majority is possible”, and his warning to supporters that the election is “not yet won”.

This comes as recent polls have PM Costa and Rio running neck-and-neck. One poll published by RTP and Público shows the PS on 37% and the PSD on 33%, while CNN Portugal’s daily tracking poll shows the two main parties in a technical tie, with the PS down 2.2 to 36.5% and the PSD up 2.5 to 32.9%.

RTP quotes the deputy leader of the Communist Party (PCP), João Oliveira, saying he has “no idea when Jerónimo de Sousa will return” and that he “dare not put a sickle into the hand of other people”.

Dinheiro Vivo reports that in December 2021,  the number of registered unemployed in Portugal rose by 0.6% to 347,959. The data from the Institute of Employment and Professional Training (IEFP) also noted that there are 54,295 fewer unemployed than in December 2020.

Expresso carries claims that despite increasing its installed capacity, the electricity group, EDP, has recorded a sharp fall in the output from its hydroelectric and natural gas power stations in the last year. The group’s electricity production fell 5% to 60,929 gigawatt hours (GWh), largely due to a 34% drop in the output from gas-fired power stations and a 19% drop in hydroelectric generation. The fall in hydroelectric production is mostly the result of the sale of six dams in the Douro, which were not included in EDP’s 2021 accounts.

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