A surreal political scandal in Portugal

A surreal political scandal in Portugal

Portuguese socialist Prime Minister Antonio Costa, who has been in power since 2015, resigned on November 7. Corruption, phone tapping, etc. Except that once he resigned, we realized that the phone tap was for another Costa and, what’s more, for another minister. …

France Info: We actually discovered that these wiretaps were not coming from the Prime Minister, and that it was not the right Costa…

Ana Navarro Pedro: That’s exactly it. Portugal is completely upset. On November 7, the Prime Minister’s Office, his official residence, was searched shortly after the Prime Minister announced: “Well, under the circumstances, I’m obviously going to resign.”. The country is entering a period of uncertainty. A week later, the judicial system, after saying: Yes, we have a phone tap that points to his involvement, announced a week later: “Actually, we got the name wrong, it wasn’t him, it was the Minister of Economy, who is also called Costa.”.

It is still dangerous for a minister, an advisor to the prime minister, and his chief of staff to be involved in a corruption case, especially the exploitation of influence. Moreover, the name of these scandals is called the “influencer case” because in reality it is an influence peddling aimed at obtaining subsidies for the exploitation of lithium mines and others.

What really is the real scandal in Portugal?

Yes, this is the culmination of this investigation, among other things, a data center, green hydrogen production, but we see that there is really nothing against the Prime Minister. The investigation will tell us now. But justice itself has already been called into question. Was it just negligence, stupidity, or something more serious?

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What will happen to Antonio Costa after there has been a lot of talk about him as the future president of the European Union?

He was scheduled to succeed Charles Michel at the head of the European Council. He now believes that his future is in the hands of Portuguese justice. You will need to bleach it completely. Does the schedule allow for this? The fact remains that António Costa was in Germany this week, visiting the small town where the Portuguese Socialist Party, to which he belongs, was created under the dictatorship. Germany’s Social Democrats still seem to believe they can have a European future.

And his Portuguese future?

For Portugal, it’s over. The President of the Republic had a choice between appointing another prime minister or calling for early elections. Perhaps the first option is the most logical, as this government was elected at the beginning of 2022, by an absolute majority, and the stability of the country must prevail, especially as we reach, in 2024, 50 years of democracy in Portugal.

However, the president chose the second hypothesis, i.e. demanding early elections. And there he is He has a tough game. This president, who is a right-wing president and therefore lives in Portugal, has never abandoned the idea of ​​bringing his right-wing and conservative camp back into Portuguese politics.

So these polls, at the time of dissolution, gave a huge advantage to his camp, to his party, the Social Democratic Party. But now, after about two weeks, we see that the country is already entering a state of massive instability. The party that could emerge is the far-right populist party.

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The president himself, who believes that his party will not be able to rule alone, seems to have not ruled out an alliance between the right and the far right (he has not yet confirmed this) to come to power in March 2024, after the early elections.

The country will therefore enter a period of instability, even if Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize winner in economics, said what Antonio Costa – who has many flaws and who perhaps should have run this government differently – said Paul Krugman said that what it has done This government did so, by reducing the very severe austerity policy pursued by its right-wing predecessors, while maintaining a certain budgetary stability demanded by Brussels, and giving a little oxygen to the Portuguese economy, by allowing an increase in pensions and the minimum wage, which increased by 72% in His government remained, and although this is a true model case;

Especially since Portugal, at the same time, is paying its debts in advance, it continues to pay its external debts in advance. So Paul Krugman says:“It is an exemplary case worthy of study; it is an absolute mystery.”

We can add that a former prime minister has published his memoirs, and the President of the Republic is the one who has a good suit made by this former prime minister?

So it’s just a coincidence, because the book came out this week, and obviously we couldn’t have predicted it. But in his memoirs, former Prime Minister Francisco Pinto Balsimao says of the current President of the Republic, whom he has clearly met often – they are from the same party and even govern together – he calls him a traitorous Scorpio, and talks about how his stupidity, treachery and pathological behavior must be in the spotlight all the time. the time…

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About the Author: Irene Alves

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