During a dinner with fellow PSD party members, PM Pedro Passos Coelho criticised the opposition and the press, stating he would rather lose the next elections than ease austerity measures in order to gain public favour.
Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho blamed the opposition parties for not providing other views on the future of Portugal other than the bleak belief the country will not meet the goals imposed by the so-called troika, during a dinner with his party members Monday, 23 July.
“We are following the only path we have. If we want to overcome this difficult situation, then there is only one way: by fulfilling our duties,” defended the prime minister during the dinner, according to news agency Lusa.
Passos Coelho accused opposition parties of taking advantage of facts, such as the soaring unemployment rate, the increasing number of insolvencies, and the hardships affecting Portuguese families, and making these the core of their political agenda.
The PM also touched upon the divergence between public opinion and published opinion, claiming that the government has the people’s support but that newspapers and other media try to create an image of clashing opinions and a disunited society.
Another topic broached during the dinner was that of future elections, with the PM stating that “if one day I have to lose elections in Portugal to save the country, then damn the elections, it is Portugal that matters”, as reported by Lusa. Passos Coelho told his MPs that they had not been elected to win the next election, and that trying to ease austerity measures in order to earn votes was out of the question.
(Photograph: António Cotrim/Lusa)