The PSD president-elect noted the Prime Minister's "confession of incompetence" in expressing the hope that it would be the PSD "to provide a solution" to the location of the new airport and high speed rail links.

Luís Montenegro said: "If I hadn't known the Prime Minister for many years, I would have said that I was moved by the humility of him coming to recognise, seven years after becoming Prime Minister, his incompetence in resolving this issue and his hope that the PSD will provide a solution to it," he said.

Asked by journalists about António Costa's statement that he wants to meet with him on the location of Lisbon airport and high-speed rail after Montenegro takes office as the new leader of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), Luís Montenegro said he will respond "in due course".

"But I want to register this confession of incompetence. It is in fact a humble attitude. It looks good for a prime minister to say that he failed, and he failed completely and bluntly on this issue," he said.

Words of praise

As for Cavaco Silva's words of praise for him, Luís Montenegro said that "they are certainly motivating", since he is "a personality that is highly respected by the Portuguese people and has experience that no one else has from the point of view of longevity, both in governmental action and in his Presidency of the Republic".

For the new PSD leader, in the interview he gave to CNN, Cavaco Silva made "a very correct analysis of the political and governmental situation in Portugal" and left "a word of hope and encouragement to his party" so that it may once again "bring a cycle of progress, of development that ceased to be" after his government’s tenure in the decade from 1985 to 1995.

Charismatic leader

"He is a historical, charismatic leader of the PSD, whom we greatly respect, who is part of our heritage. It is very curious that at this time the opportunity is given to the younger generations who did not live through the decade from 1985 to 1995 to change a country so much, as opposed to what they have had to put up with in recent years. We have a government that is stalling, pushing with its belly forward and leaving everything the same way they found it," he declared.