Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

The Portuguese will go to the polls in January 2022 for early legislative elections

Written by Eric Apim on Tuesday, November 9th 2021 à 11:15 | Read 478 times

The Portuguese president is forced to dissolve the National Assembly (photo: Portuguese Presidency)
The Portuguese president is forced to dissolve the National Assembly (photo: Portuguese Presidency)
PORTUGAL. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has finally decided, on Thursday 4 November 2021, to dissolve the National Assembly. The day before, the Council of State (a consultative institution) had issued "a favourable opinion, by a majority, to the proposal of the President of the Republic to dissolve the Assembly".
Early parliamentary elections will therefore be held on 30 January 2022, only two years after the previous ones which allowed Antonio Costa to keep his post of Prime Minister.

The President of the Portuguese Republic was in a political impasse since the rejection of the 2022 budget bill by Parliament on Wednesday 27 October 2021 (117 votes against, 108 for and 5 abstentions). The left-wing coalition in power since 2015 broke up during this vote. The far left (Bloco de Esquerda, radical left party - BE) and the Communist Party (PCP) disassociated themselves from their ally, the Socialist Party (PSP), to join the right-wing opposition. They criticise in particular the lack of funding for public services in this document as well as the non-revision of the labour reform introduced to get through the years of financial crisis.

"This is not just any budget (...) It must be used to get out of the crisis caused by the pandemic and to manage the European recovery funds," Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa stressed in a televised speech.

"Giving the people a say"

This will be the third election in a year after the presidential election in January 2021 and the municipal elections in late September 2021. The legislative elections would normally have been held in the autumn of 2023. Nine million voters will have to vote again. "In moments like this, in a democracy, there is always a solution, without drama or fear (...), to give the people back their say," commented the Portuguese president. The Prime Minister will not resign and will henceforth be content with managing current affairs, while leading the PSP campaign with the motto of obtaining "a strong, stable and lasting majority."

Under the NextGenerationEU plan adopted in November 2020, Portugal is to receive €16.64bn in aid (of which €5.9bn via the SURE instrument) by 2026. The European Commission approved Portugal's Recovery and Resilience Plan on 16 June 2021, making it eligible for these funds. It was the first to be submitted to the institution for validation.

The Portuguese plan foresees thirty-six reforms and seventy-seven investments in the areas of resilience (€11.125bn), climate transition (€3.059bn) and digital transition (€2.46bn). Of the €13.9bn of planned grants, 37% are for green transition (47% allocated to climate transition objectives). 2.7bn in loans under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) over the period 2021-2026 will complement this funding.

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