Portugal’s president chose to highlight the efforts of the Portuguese in the speech he delivered during the official celebrations of Portugal Day.
There are “signs” which allow the Portuguese to believe in a future recovery, even if the country still faces significant challenges, President Cavaco Silva said Sunday in his speech at the official ceremony commemorating Portugal Day.
Quoted by news agency Lusa, the president said there were “signs that allow us to have confidence in the future” and that “some indicators allow us to hope that an economic recovery could be a not so distant reality”.
However, President Cavaco Silva warned there were “reasons to remain vigilant“, as he further highlighted the fact the country was “making a very serious and responsible effort to honour the commitments signed” by the government.
The President chose to stress the “positive examples” given by many Portuguese in dealing with the crisis:
“In many fields of society there are countless examples of success which should be followed and, whenever possible, copied”, he said, quoted by news agency Lusa.
Cavaco Silva also highlighted the need for “increased dialogue” between political leaders to help overcome these “difficult times” experienced by the Portuguese as the country struggles with a deepening economic recession after the implementation of austerity measures following the EU-ECB-IMF €78bn bailout.
Quoted by Lusa, the president said he was “completely aware of the dramas of those who don’t have a job, of the difficulties of the youth who aspire to having a career, of those who are unable to keep up their commitments, of the small businesses which are forced to cut back or even close down.”
Cavaco Silva also stressed how the Portuguese “have been showing… a striking civic spirit and mutual help in the face of increasing situations of poverty“.
Passos Coelho: We will not give up on adjustment policies
After the president’s speech, Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho said his centre-right government was taking “adequate measures” to combat unemployment and that Cavaco Silva was “well informed” of the cabinet’s efforts.
About the challenges posed by a harsh adjustment programme, Passos Coelho said, quoted by Lusa, that “the direction we’ve taken is correct” and that “the government will not disarm nor relax its policies“.
Beyond the steps already taken, Passos Coelho said the government was considering cutting business contributions to social security next year as a step to spurring job creation.
with Lusa News
(Photograph: Tiago Petinga/Lusa)