António Costa was speaking at the end of a dinner promoted by the Luso-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
In a speech lasting about 30 minutes, before an audience of businessmen, the leader of the socialist executive recognised the difficulty of the current international situation, but defended the thesis that Portugal has an ideal geographical position to be at the forefront of the digital transition and is strong in the commitment to renewable energies.
“Beyond geographic position, beyond human capital, beyond funding opportunities, the truth is that we have an institutional, geopolitical and financial framework that can be an acquired factor of trust. Portugal has political stability, as few countries have”, stressed the prime minister.
In this context, António Costa advocated that Portugal will be “the fourth safest country in the world – and in times of war this is no small feat – and has managed to maintain a firm trajectory of consolidation of public accounts”.
“Although the Stability Pact is suspended, last year we managed to stay below the 3% deficit threshold and this year we will surely be below or at least very close to the objective, a deficit of 1.9%”, he declared.
According to the leader of the executive, in 2021, despite the extraordinary support granted by the State to combat covid-19, “Portugal managed to resume the inversion of the debt weight in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)”.
“We can confidently say that we will arrive with a debt-to-GDP ratio of 100% by the end of this legislature. We can continue to maintain the objectives even in this scenario of uncertainty that surrounds us, which is a very important factor of confidence. In this context, rating agencies have continued to improve the outlook of Portugal”, he added.
In his speech, António Costa advocated that Portugal has the seventh lowest inflation in the euro area as a whole, “essentially because of a factor and that has to do with the intensity of the use of renewable energies.
“About 60% of the electricity we consume already comes from renewable sources and in four years it will be 80% from renewable sources, which saves us having to discuss, like others, whether or not it is necessary to take steps back in the process of decarbonisation of the economy”, he pointed out.
At this point, the prime minister said that in the last two solar energy auctions, the country obtained in two successive years “the world record for the lowest price, which allows us to be at the forefront of investments for the production of green hydrogen, which is decisive for gas-intensive industries”.
“Now, green hydrogen is a renewable, clean, decarbonised gas that can secure the future”, he defended.