Edition 1480
23 June 2018
Edition: 1480

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President calls for 'more steps' to boost economy as EC hails progress

by TPN/Lusa, in News · 08-03-2018 10:19:00 · 0 Comments

Portugal’s president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, said that the country has “still to take more steps” to boost economic growth, in spite of the European Commission’s recognition earlier that the economy has been developing well.

President calls for 'more steps' to boost economy as EC hails progress

 

In its latest review of developments in the European Union, the commission has taken Portugal off the list of member states with excessive economic imbalances, stating that it now has only “imbalances”. The country's president welcomed that development, but stressed that further progress is needed.

 

“It’s good news that Portugal has exited the group of countries with excessive imbalances, to another group of countries that includes major European economies,” said de Sousa. “Which means that important steps have been taken.”

 

However, the head of state issued “an appeal for the future”, namely that “we have to take still more steps from the economic and financial point of view.”

 

The president, who was speaking to journalists after a visit to the Archaeological Museum at São Miguel de Odrinhas, near Sintra, said that “the Portuguese have to be ambitious” and make further progress where economic growth is concerned, especially on what he termed “structural” issues.

 

“We have to hold the course in terms of budgetary rigour, we have to hold the course and deepen it in terms of returning to reductions in our public indebtedness,” he said.

 

Portugal’s public indebtedness is one of the highest in the EU, and it is not expected to come down significantly for some years.

According to de Sousa, the country should “create conditions in the field of investment and exports” and also “look at the variable conditioning factors that allow that growth and the creation of employment and more social justice.”

 

Those factors, he said, included “state institutions, the public administration in general, incentives for domestic and foreign investment, the rationality and control of public investment” and the levels of vocational and post-graduate qualifications.

 

The European Commission had in November identified 12 member states that it saw as requiring “deeper analysis” due to their imbalances. On Wednesday it withdrew Slovenia from the list and reclassified another three countries: Portugal, France and Bulgaria, all of which are now deemed to have mere “imbalances”.

 

In Portugal's case, the commission welcomed the fact that the public sector budget is now close to 1% of gross domestic product, but stressed the need for continued efforts with a “sustainable correction of imbalances” in view; it called on the government to submit an “ambitious” National Programme of Reforms next month.

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Edition 1480
23 June 2018
Edition: 1480

Read this week's issue online exactly as it appears in print.

Twitter