Government: Passos Coelho reaffirms call for “national union”

The Prime Minister has again insisted that Portugal needs a spirit of union and had admitted that the nation has a very high tax regime.

Politics What's New — 29 July 2013 by PDV
Government:  Passos Coelho reaffirms call for “national union”

Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho once again stated his call for a national union (Photograph: Pedro Rosário/LUSA)

The Prime Minister, Pedro Passos Coelho once again stated his call for a “national union” a term which was highly criticised by the opposition, and said that his words were “correctly understood” by those who heard them.

We just want to reaffirm that the country really needs a spirit of union and union between all Portuguese and a national union”, underscored Passos Coelho when quizzed by journalists in Alijó on the reactions of opposition parties to his appeal.

The Prime Minister said on Friday that the country needed a “climate of national union“, not national unity, but national union, which would enable this convergence.”

Meanwhile, the Socialist Party general secretary António José Seguro, criticised the challenge made by the Prime Minister for a commitment of “national union”, stating that the country needed “less talk and more action“, looking back over the two years of the Government.

For Passos Coelho it was important that “all who looked at the country with expectation whether direct creditors or future investors, felt that in Portugal, despite the disagreements that existed, could believe that the Portuguese had a spirit of union over the need to overcome difficulties which today were of a “very large scale.”

If we cannot show this spirit of union between the various political forces, between the Portuguese, than how can we expect those outside Portugal to have confidence and hope in us,” asked Pedro Passos Coelho.

Economy isn’t offsetting the increase in taxes

The Prime Minister also stated on Sunday that the country would be unable to recover economically by raising taxes and thought that the tax rates were too high and a disincentive to company investment.

We will not be able to recover our economy for the future by raising taxes, this has a limit, this can provide us with a short-term fix to balance the budget deficit but a very high price is paid in the medium and long terns by maintaining this very high tax rate,” he stressed during his visit to the municipality of Alijó.

The Prime Minister was talking about the reform to the IRC which is being lowered in a bid to capture investor confidence in the medium to long terms.

“We really do have a very high tax rate. We know that. We’ve ended up with this high tax rate because for many years the State didn’t do what it should have done to control its expenditure,” he added.

Passos Coelho also added that the Government’s priority at this time was to help companies.

with LUSA

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