9 March 2022

Ukraine once more dominates the media. There is wide coverage of the government’s proposals to mitigate rising fuel prices for drivers and people on low incomes. The PCP leader continues to blame everyone for the war in Ukraine, while another possible candidate for the leadership of the PSD is named. International Women’s Day was marked in nine cities and Ukrainian refugees arrive in the northern town of Trofa.

RTP, Expresso and Público report that from next Friday the government will create new mechanisms to mitigate the impact of rising fuel prices caused by the war in Ukraine. According to RTP, CNN PT and Público, the measures include a weekly review of the VAT on fuel duty (ISP), with Expresso, Lusa and CNN PT adding the reductions will extend to fuel, bottled gas for low-income families and electricity and an increase in the Autovoucher fuel discount to €20 per month.

RTP and CNN PT pick up a Lusa report citing Communist Party (PCP) leader Jerónimo de Sousa said “the PCP is unequivocally on the side of the people who desire peace and condemns an entire process of interference and confrontation that has taken place in Ukraine, the 2014 coup d’état promoted by the United States, the recent military intervention by Russia and the intensification of the warmongering escalation of the US, NATO and the European Union”.

Público reports that Nuno Correia da Silva, who was a close ally of former Social Democratic Party (PSD) leader Manuel Monteiro, has ruled out throwing his hat into the ring for the leadership of the party at this moment, claiming “the debate of ideas is more important than the person who is going to be a candidate”. However, he added that should Congress so wish he is willing to stand as a candidate.

DN cites IM Francisca Van Dunem saying Portugal can welcome tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees safely as the country already has a large Ukrainian community that can offer support. 

Lusa cites Portugal’s PM António Costa warning of a possible backlash as a result of EU sanctions on Russia and the possible immediate embargo on Russian oil and gas imports.

Lusa and Público report Portuguese Defence Minister João Gomes Cravinho will deploy 174 Portuguese soldiers to southern Romania at the “end of March, beginning of April”, where they will work with the Romanian military to deal with logistical issues. 

Expresso notes that some supermarkets in Portugal are beginning to ration sunflower oil as a result of high demand and low supplies from Spain, which imports most of its sunflower oil from Ukraine.

DN reports Ryanair will move to reduce its fleet at Lisbon airport in the summer as a result of the Portuguese government’s refusal to free up slots from TAP and will cancel 19 routes from Lisbon for the summer, which the company says will cause “the cancellation of 5,000 flights and affect 900,000 passengers”.

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