3 February 2022

Some outlets note President Rebelo de Sousa has invited PM Costa to form a new government. Most media covers the call by some opposition parties for the reintroduction of fortnightly parliamentary debates with the PM, which both the PS and PSD seem reluctant to take forward. It is reported that 20,000 people have died of Covid in Portugal since 2019, as the health authorities are looking to remove most restrictions.

RTP and Expresso lead with the news that in a video conference President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa formally invited PM Costa to form the 22nd Constitutional Government, with “the inauguration taking place after the first session of the new parliament” at the end of this month.

Lusa, RTP, Público and DN all discuss the Liberal Initiative’s (IL) intention to propose the reintroduction of fortnightly PM question time debates, a proposal supported by Chega. The majority PS responded by saying this is a decision for parliament to make, and that it is always willing to listen to the “constructive contributions” of minority parties. DN reports that PSD president Rui Rio is opposed to the return of these debates, arguing that “parliamentary spectacle is not scrutiny,” while calling for enhanced “scrutiny and oversight of the absolute majority government”. Expresso notes that the PS intends to engage in dialogue with all parties while also warning the opposition to “respect the expression of the popular will”.

CNN PT reports that Portugal has now recorded 20,000 deaths caused by Covid since the first recorded victim died in April 2019, with the report, also published in Público, that the Directorate General of Health is contemplating using the time before the new government takes office to examine the possibility of easing restrictions.

Público notes a report published by the Bank of Portugal that claims carbon taxes are an inevitable measure in the fight against climate change, arguing that simply encouraging and subsidising the renewable energy sector is not enough to curb global warming, and calling for a combination of higher carbon taxes and incentives for investment in renewable energies as the best way to counteract global warming.

Lusa notes that the European Federation for Transport and Environment has branded the European Commission’s proposal for green labelling of gas use as “bad and unscientific”, saying it must be defeated in the European Parliament, with Lusa and Expresso adding that the Iberian Anti-nuclear Movement (MIA) rejected the decision to consider investments in nuclear energy as green and that it will compromise efforts to decarbonise electricity.

Negócios reports that the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine has placed the delivery of natural gas to Portugal under pressure, leaving the country vulnerable to continuing increases in already historically high natural gas prices. While noting that Portugal is not dependent on Russian gas, it is an energy importer and could suffer the contagion effect through inflation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: