Portuguese Crisis: No "National Salvation" plan agreed upon
Caracas, Venezuela, July 19, 2013. In a statement delivered at night by the leader of the centre-left Socialist Party (PS), António Seguro, to the Portuguese people a long awaited news came to light: There would be no agreement on the "National Salvation" plan proposed by President Aníbal Cavaco Silva (PSD). Seguro outlined the obstacles encountered during negotiations with the right-wing governing coalition (PSD/CDS-PP): PS objected to proposed cuts in social spending or benefits for the retired and the aging; it also asked the governing coalition for the implementation of policies towards economic growth, employment creation, a balanced fiscal budget and a better management of public debt. He informed that none of the PS proposals were accepted by the governing coalition as it insisted on austerity and the completion of the Troika-designed policies (IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank); early elections were accepted by the government only at the end of 2014. In such circumstances, PS argued there was no use in continuing negotiations. The governing coalition asked for another round of negotiations but the PS refused to go along. António Seguro concluded that it was now for President Cavaco Silva to decide how to proceed.
There have been several proposals for a Presidential led government. However, it is unclear how it would proceed as the current Portuguese Constitution -reformed in 1982- no longer allows it. It would be an obvious strategy for the opposition to continue asking for early elections now. The administration of Pedro Passos Coelho (PSD) has denied early elections and insisted on the appointment of his coalition partner (CDS-PPE), Paulo Portas, as Deputy Prime Minister.
Earlier, British The Economist magazine had stated that Portuguese current situation did not differ much from the Greek one.