The Prime Minister said today that the Government is working on a design of the Supplementary Budget associated with an economic and social emergency program, but there is still a lack of clear data on the macroeconomic scenario and on the available European mechanisms.
António Costa spoke to journalists before having lunch with the President of the Assembly of the Republic, Ferro Rodrigues, in Bairro Alto, Lisbon, after being asked about the main lines of the Supplementary Budget, a document that the Government intends to present in June in the Assembly of the Republic.
"We are starting to work on the design of the Supplementary Budget and, between the end of this week and the beginning of the next, we will have contacts with the parties represented in the Assembly of the Republic and with the social partners. We still need a clarification of the European framework to to be able to know with what mechanisms we count and also to have a more secure base on what is the scenario of the retraction of our economy ", declared the leader of the executive.
The Prime Minister then stressed that the Supplementary Budget "must be associated with an economic and social emergency program, which will precede the Portuguese economic recovery program".
Asked if he would allow a reduction in taxes to stimulate economic activity, namely VAT, António Costa refused to "make speculations about what might be the design" of this Supplementary Budget.
Soon after, however, he made this comment: "Fortunately the question has already changed, because two weeks ago the great anguish was knowing when austerity started".
"They already realized that we are not going to start with austerity, but we will have to adopt a set of measures that will stimulate the capacity of economic agents and families to maintain their lives and be all active partners in the country's recovery. We have had enormous success. in the containment of the pandemic, and we must now have a huge success in not damaging the acquired and in the recovery of the economy ", he said.
Regarding the reasons that led him to lunch at a historic restaurant in Bairro Alto, Alfaia, the Prime Minister stressed that his Government, before Covid-19, had to adopt measures to contain the disease that had "a brutal effect on the economy, threatening thousands of jobs and jeopardizing the income of many families ".
"If we want to recover from this situation, preventing the economic and social crisis from deepening, we all have to make our contribution, resuming with the precautions that our day-to-day life imposes. At this moment, I consider it important to give a signal of confidence in the restaurant and also of thanks, because it has been a sector that has been hit a lot over these months. It will certainly be a sector in which it will need some time before people gain confidence, returning to eat outside the home ", he added .
The President of the Assembly of the Republic, on the other hand, considered that the reopening of restaurants "is a very important moment for cities, for the country, and not only for tourism, but also for the economy and employment as a whole".
"In 15 days, we have to take stock of how this went. Also in a month from now we will see how the new deflation will go. I, who am not exactly an optimist, am optimistic. The numbers [of the pandemic of Covid-19] have evolved well ", declared Ferro Rodrigues.
Asked about the food in the restaurants he misses, the President of the Assembly of the Republic replied with a humorous note: "I miss light dishes like Portuguese stew, feijoada and roasted sardines, things like that".