Leader of the main opposition party the Socialists, António José Seguro, set down the limits to his support for the country’s international bailout programme that he has hitherto backed.
While international commitments are to be honoured, they should never call into question the social contract, said Socialist Party leader António José Seguro as he commemorated his first anniversary in charge of Portugal’s largest opposition party on Monday 23 July.
In a message sent out to party members, Seguro set down the limits of his support for the country’s international bailout programme that he has backed until now.
“We should keep to the memorandum’s targets without ever jeopardising social cohesion, (…) we cannot rip up our own social contract.”
“We shall never, never accept the destruction of the welfare state that this government is preparing to do”, said Seguro before stating that his core immediate objective was to extend Portugal’s international bailout programme by another year and use the additional breathing space to promote a job creation and growth agenda.
Declaring he was “in no rush” to take office, Seguro said his pro-growth position had gone from being “an isolated voice a year ago (…) to a consensus that the crisis can only be overcome by another axis of action: growth”.
António José Seguro was elected leader of the Socialist Party following the resignation of José Sócrates after the party lost the last general election.
The Socialist Party has steadily distanced itself from the Social Democrat and Popular Party coalition government with Seguro ending the parliamentary year in disagreement with measures enacted by the government under the auspices of the bailout programme.
Seguro, who has called Portugal’s readjustment program to be extended for another year, openly opposes measures like the privatisation of national water company ADP and public service broadcaster RTP, as well the budget priorities set out for the forthcoming year.
(Photograph: Sérgio Azenha/Lusa)