27 January 2022

Please note that for personal reasons there will be no more updates to the Portuguese news reports until Tuesday – which I am sure you are all aware, is after the election that will probably result in another minority PS government and weeks of wrangling between the PS and possible partners.

Most of the media focus is on the PS and PSD campaigns, with some outlets also giving some space to the smaller parties. Comments by PM Costa against his former partners in government and his main political opponent are prominent, while Rui Rio’s accusations of PS misrepresentation continue to be reported. Statements by the leaders of Chega and Left Bloc are also noted, while Covid is back above the fold in some newspapers.

Expresso and Público report that after almost two weeks during which he criticised both the right and his former partners on the left, PM Costa is now calling for an end to the political crisis “without acrimony or rancour”, while criticising the Communists (PCP) and Left Bloc (BE) for creating the current political crisis and adding that the PS “has always been the point of national harmony and national unity”. RTP reports from a PS rally in which Costa warned the PSD “there are no free lunches” with Chega and the extreme right, while CNN Portugal reports Costa continuing to insist the PSD is hiding plans while demanding the PSD leader, Rui Rio, show “the humility to wait for the Portuguese to cast their votes on Sunday” before celebrating victory.

RTP claims Rio continues to accuse Costa of misrepresenting the PSD manifesto and pointed to figures showing the PS and Chega have often voted together in parliament. CNN Portugal adds that Rio accused Costa of disclosing confidential data showing the Portuguese economy grew by 4.6% last year, that he only had access to because of his position, before going on to say Costa “thought that was a fantastic number, but it is below the Government’s projection”.

Lusa turns to Chega leader André Ventura, who said Rui Rio “will not convince the Portuguese” to vote for him, and accused the PSD leader of “a lack of shame” for claiming a vote for Chega is a vote for the PS. 

Expresso quotes BE leader Catarina Martins stating that whichever of the two main parties wins, there will be a left-wing majority in parliament and that only the left can take Portugal forward.

Público notes there is no evidence the BA.2 strain of Omicron currently circulating in Portugal is more virulent or faster spreading than BA.1, although it does note the new strain is more difficult to track.

DN carries a report from the Instituto Superior Técnico claiming it will not be possible to achieve Covid herd immunity and that the country will need to learn to live with the virus, just as it has learned to cope with seasonal flu and many other diseases.

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