“Contrary to what some people say, we don’t have to choose between the economy and health. We all want a life that is healthy, but also with living conditions for ourselves and our children, for our families, for our neighbours, for our co-workers, for our fellow citizens. This is a battle that we must fight together and for this there should be no distractions. We need to focus on controlling the pandemic, recovering the country and safeguarding the future, these are the three priorities of the Socialist Party”, he said, stressing that the fight against the pandemic is also a fight for the eradication of poverty.

In the opening speech of the 19th Congress of the District Federation of Porto, in Matosinhos, the socialist leader and prime minister, who again called for the use of the ‘Stayaway Covid’ application, stressed that control of the Covid-19 pandemic is fundamental if the country wants to ensure the protection of family income, guarantee employment and defend businesses.

Recognising that the country is now entering a “particularly critical” period, António Costa recalled that in March and April, pandemic control had enormous social costs in terms of children’s learning, job losses, reduced disposable income for families and ‘lay-offs’, which must not be forgotten.

“We have to remain alert. We have, in recent weeks, seen a significant increase in the number of contagions. Holidays are by nature a moment of relaxation, a moment of conviviality, but in this moment in which we live we cannot relax, we have to be very careful in the conviviality, as we have to be when we go back to work, when we have to travel on public transport, when we have to go back to school because if we have to stop the country again this would have an absolutely unbearable cost for the lives of families, for companies, for everyone in Portugal”, he defended, adding that it is a risk that the country “cannot take”.

The secretary general of the PS stressed that in order not to run that risk, everyone needs to fulfil their role: wearing a mask, social distancing and disinfecting their hands, he said, stressing that this is the best way for the Portuguese to help health professionals.
He added that during this critical period when the country is confronted with the pandemic, priorities must be focused, first on controlling Covid-19, second on the country’s recovery and third on the future.

“We must not be distracted or lose focus. What we have to focus on, what worries the Portuguese most today, what distresses them and what the PS party has to respond to, is the need to control the pandemic in order to limit the number of deaths and the number of infected people. It is the recovery of the country to save companies that are threatened with bankruptcy, to guarantee the protection of jobs that are threatened and to create jobs again to employ those who have lost their jobs and those who are leaving the education system every year and to whom we have to open the doors and give the guarantee that it is in Portugal that they can build their future,” he said.

“We must make this fight against Covid, a fight for the eradication of poverty. Because with poverty there cannot be better health and without health we will not recover from poverty”, he concluded.