“This Government has just abandoned all the people who live on their salary in Portugal because it refuses a fundamental fact: this cycle of inflation is not a conjuncture of a few months that will pass now”, declared Catarina Martins.
The leader of the Bloco de Esquerda (BE) considered that, if António Costa “had hope” that inflation would be fleeting when he presented the PS electoral program in January, “he must have already lost it”.
“Now, with a war in Europe and with instability and security increasingly being the pretext for speculative processes that drive prices up, insisting that this is just a parenthesis is absurd and irresponsible”, she stressed.
People need answers
Calling for an answer to be given to people who have to “count their pennies” every month – “while there are those who earn millions” - Catarina Martins criticised the planned salary and pension increases, which “are at 1%, five times below the inflation that is felt until the end of March”.
In his response, the prime minister said that “all international, and even national, institutions predict that the inflationary phenomenon “will be transitory and temporary throughout this year”, inviting the leader of the Left Bloc to “see the forecasts of the Bank European Central”, from the Bank of Portugal or from the Stability Programme.
“They all point to one point: this year is a year in which inflation does not continue in the following year and is, therefore, an eminently transitory problem. And it has well-known causes: it started with the rupture of production chains during the pandemic, it was later aggravated either with the increase in energy prices, or with the new ruptures in supply chains, with the outbreak of war by Russia, with the invasion of Ukraine”, he indicated.
The prime minister thus called for “the root of the problem” to be tackled, considering that these problems reside in the “cost of energy” and in the “cost of some production factors that run the risk of contaminating the set of other goods, namely foodstuffs”.
Not a perfect world
“If the world is perfect? No, the world is not perfect. The world will be better when Russia withdraws from Ukraine and peace is restored, the world will be better when supply chains are restored, the world will be better when we achieve interconnections with Spain and Spain with France, the world will be better when, in 2026, we already have 80% of the electricity, and not just 60% of the electricity, from renewable sources”, he stressed.
“Working to improve the world is something we do day in and day out and will continue to do,” he added.