“This target is highly important to the country. The government, as it has also repeatedly stated, is currently ascertaining all the relevant information and shall do everything to ensure the target is met,” said Centeno, whilst also saying that the government was not in a position to define any specific numbers until it had done all of its sums.
The minister explained how he had presented a draft outline of the planned Portuguese state budget that included a “set of policies that place Portugal on a trajectory of growth” but which take as their guiding rule compliance with the nationally accepted targets within the framework of the growth and stability pact.
Asked for an opinion as to how his first meeting with his Euro Zone peers had gone, Centeno replied that “everything went very well” with “a fairly good reaction” to the plans outlined with a definitive plan due to be handed in at the beginning of next year.
Furthermore, the Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem confirmed that this was the scheduled date for the reception of the Portuguese budgetary proposal before stressing that “first there is to be a discussion in Brussels and only afterwards is there the final vote in the Portuguese parliament” that he timetabled for “mid-January.”
The finance minister also took the opportunity to hold bilateral meetings with his counterparts from France, Italy, Germany and Spain.