Thursday, 18 July: Former Portuguese President and PS Party stalwart Mário Soares has warned that attempting to accommodate the coalition Government’s policy in shaving €4.7bn in cuts off Government expenditure will split the PS party
«Historic Travels» features the weekly current affairs magazine which suggests now is a good time to make the best of the holiday period by combining travelling and history to better get to know some of Portugal’s lesser known historic past.
«Algarve: 85 Beaches, 38 Hotels, 77 Restaurants, 21 Bars and 12 Festivals» as the weekend current affairs magazine also focuses on the holiday season, but with a more traditional approach with a complete guide to Portugal’s emblematic and internationally famous holiday region.
«Mário Soares says that the PS runs the risk of splitting the party if it signs the agreement» reports Público stating that the ex-President says that there are various figures within the PS party who could quit should there be an understanding with the Right. It highlights: the cuts dividing the socialists and the majority; the scenarios for getting out of the crisis; and asks “up to what point can the troika be pandered to?” The paper says that the warnings about a PS party split come from various sides. An agreement with the Right would cause an internal war, which is the way that Mário Soares is reading the situation. Soares is said to be convinced that there will be no tri-party agreement for a “National Salvation Compromise”. “I am certain that there will be no agreement between the PS and the Government Right, because this would create a split in the PS and would only benefit the PCP Communist party,” he says.
«Cavaco sees “very positive signs” in the meetings between the PSD, CDS and PS» says Público but the President of the Republic, who is far from the maddening crowd on a remote island off Madeira has not made any specific political comments about the meetings taking place in Lisbon, but has noticed “signs of change” which are “very positive.”
Correio da Manhã
«Government puts the brakes on post office sell off», writes Correio da Manhã, which admits that plans to privatise the national postal service could get shelved as the PS party, currently advising the coalition Government, is making its retention in public hands a condition for negotiations to reach a “National Salvation Compromise.” The Government may be willing to give way if it means achieving an overall tri-party deal.
«Portas Contracts: Portugal threw away 400 million over armoured cars deal» reports Correio da Manhã which states that with under a year and a half to go to complete the offsets contract signed on the back of the acquisition of around 65 Pandur armoured cars from the Austrian manufacturer Steyr – a contract signed by Paulo Portas when Defence minister in 2005 – the company, now owned by the US armaments giant General Dynamics (GDELS) has only fulfilled 13% of the amount of offsets contracted on the back of the supply deal – offsets that were supposed to provide spinoff business deals for the Portuguese economy.
Diário de Notícias
«Socialists say that salvation agreement “seems impossible» reports Diário de Notícias. One of the PS’s concrete proposals is to keep TAP – the national airline – with capital from Portuguese-speaking sources alone. In the continuing political crisis the newspaper reports that the fourth round of negotiations between the PSD, PS and CDS parties looking to a “national salvation compromise” extended into the night with a break for dinner. Before the dinner PS members spoke about the Government parties’ refusal to budge on the issue of cuts in public spending. Speaking to DN, Álvaro Beleza, member of Seguro’s management team, insisted that the PS would not “sell its soul”.
«Defence scraps Armed Forces pension fund”» states Diário de Notícias in a story that says that those who are already retired will continue to receive their pensions under the old agreement but those beginning a military career now will not join or make deductions under the former scheme and more generous scheme. Those in active service will get the money they’ve deducted up until now. The Minister of Defence, José Pedro Aguiar-Branco, wants the Armed Forces Pension Fund scrapped because it is running a €30 million annual deficit. Armed forces representatives say they will reply in writing to the proposals. Any new scheme may either not be so generous or will require additional top-ups from servicemen and women. The National Association of Sargeants admits the Government fund was badly managed.
Jornal de Notícias
«Hole could grow by more than 5.5 billion – Stalemate in negotiations on the day that business leaders implore the three parties to come up with an agreement. Cavaco supporters and social partners force an agreement» reveals Jornal de Notícias, which continues to focus on the political turmoil engulfing Portugal, this time warning that the tax payer could be faced with an additional €5.5bn short-term administrative bill as more debt-ridden public companies are included in the State deficit.
«Appeal from Portugal’s economic elite to “reach and agreement!”», reports i, stating that the President of the Republic has denied any link to a ‘manifesto’. Cuts of €4.7bn are getting in the way of an agreement from the majority within the PS. The paper also publishes various mug shots of leading economists, former government figures and business representatives while the paper says that public companies are threatening to make Portugal’s debt €5bn worse.
«The understanding should act as the basis for negotiations with the troika» reports Diário Económico, in an interview with José Silva Peneda, President of the Social and Economic Advisory Body – CES, who joins other voices demanding that a compromise be met between the PS, PSD and CDS which would have the framework to reform the State in what he says is the only way of convincing the markets and the troika that Portugal means business.
Jornal de Negócios
«Troika money for the banks could be used to service the deficit», reports Jornal de Negócios which also highlights that the political crisis heightened fears over needs to restructure Portugal’s debt. Brussels itself has already admitted that loans to Greek banks were used to service public debt in that country. The business daily also features the launch of Zon Optimus which will give shareholders a more attractive dividend than Portugal Telecom. The paper also reports that today is the day when the Greens will put forward a no-confidence motion against the coalition Government in parliament while any eventual agreement between the PS and Coalition could end in rupture for the PS.
«Turks in Lisbon for Cardozo», says the paper adding that it is Turkish football club Fenerbahçe’s last ditch attempt to hire the Paraguayan player. Benfica will only release the forward from his contract if a 15 million price tag is met. Aziz Yildrim, President of Fenerbahçe is in Lisbon to try and clinch the deal and is said to be prepared to pay up.
«Lion managed it», reports Record, in reference to Sporting’s 2:1 win against Manchester United. The paper also reports that Racing will have to pay good money to borrow Viola. In the ongoing saga with player Bruma, he is said to be appealing to the Portuguese Association CAP to try and get his contracts cancelled.
«Exit Salvio, Enter Pizzi», says O Jogo, in a Benfica story about the negotiations for the Argentinean player: Manchester city offers €30m and Vieira could stretch that out to €40 million. The Eagles are also said to be discussing with A.T. Madrid the possibility of hiring the Portuguese flanker. The daily also focuses on Turkish club Fenerbahçe’s trip to Lisbon in a bid to sort out the Cardozo purchase once and for all.