"We hope that in 2023 the deficit returns to below 3 percent, the year in which the rules of the budget treaty will be applied again," said João Leão, at the Salão Nobre of the Ministry of Finance, in Lisbon, during the presentation of the Government's proposal for the State Budget for 2022 (OE2022).

However, the Government has not yet indicated a concrete value below 3 percent, the threshold of the European Union's budgetary rules, as in the OE2022 report, which only refers to deficit forecasts for 2021 and 2022.

The deficit of national public accounts is expected to be 4.3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2021 and fall to 3.2 percent in 2022, according to the proposal for the OE2022.

The figure for 2022 had already been advanced to political parties, and the figure for the current year compares with the 4.5 percent forecast by the Government in the Stability Programme in April.