Covid-19: Duplicity of Costa and Centeno positions on EU response weakens Portugal – BE
Today’s “País Ligado” – a daily video of the blockade leader that is released by the party on the pandemic – is dedicated to the “essential decisions” for the future of Portugal and the various countries that will be taken at the European Council on Thursday , in which it will be decided “whether or not there is a European response to the crisis”.
“We still don’t know what the Portuguese Government will do. António Costa has said that he no longer wants austerity and wants a supportive response, but Mário Centeno, as president of the Eurogroup, has supported German positions.
This duplicity weakens Portugal and weakens the possibility of a European response “, she criticizes. Despite the little expectations that the blockers have about what the European Union will do, Catarina Martins anticipates that “even the most convinced Europeanists will ask themselves what is the use of a European Union if it is not even used to respond to this crisis”.
BE has already proposed to the Portuguese Government, with the aim of discussing this European Council, the creation of a European economic recovery fund “achievable without austerity” that could finance Portugal up to 30 billion euros, announced last week the MEP Marisa Matias. “And even today, the Spanish Government is proposing a recovery fund, along these lines as well, with a billion and a half euros to recover the various countries of the European Union”, says the BE coordinator.
This recovery fund, from the perspective of the blockers, is the “most ambitious and has the most structural capacity” proposal. “The recovery fund came at a meeting of the Eurogroup, but for now it is just a slogan. The idea is to transform it into a true instrument to finance the economic recovery of the various countries “, explained Catarina Martins.
The possibility for the European Council to postpone a decision at this time, “in view of the health, economic and social situation of so many countries in the European Union”, is, for the MEP of the BE, “already a decision” and “carries serious risks”.
“There are those who have been warning that if there is no European response, we will soon have dictatorships in Poland, in Hungary, fascists in the Italian or Spanish government”, he warns. Another scenario is “there is a European response, but similar to that which existed for the 2007/2008 financial crisis”, points out Catarina Martins.
“Countries are indebted to the European stability mechanism and in a year or two, as the treaties are still in force, they will be forced into austerity measures on the pretext of fiscal consolidation. Portugal, unfortunately, knows this recipe too well and we know that it only adds crisis to the crisis “, he warns.
Globally, according to an AFP report, the covid-19 pandemic has already killed more than 165,000 people and infected almost 2.5 million people in 193 countries and territories. In Portugal, 735 people died of the 20,863 registered as infected, according to the Directorate-General for Health.
The “Great Confinement” has led the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to make unprecedented forecasts in its almost 75 years: the world economy may fall 3% in 2020, dragged by a 5.9% contraction in the United States, from 7, 5% in the euro area and 5.2% in Japan. For Portugal, the IMF predicts a recession of 8% and an unemployment rate of 13.9% in 2020.