Support for Portugal’s anti-austerity government is growing, along with investor confidence, as the left’s economic policies bear fruit.
Portugal has turned its economy around, slashing the deficit. This should boost investor confidence, but rating agencies won’t take Lisbon off the junk pile.
After the back and forth with Brussels, a positive credit rating helped Portugal overcome its state of budgetary limbo, yet Lisbon was “verbally downgraded” by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble.
As expected, the shaky Portuguese right-wing government led by a centre-right coalition fell, toppled by a left-wing alliance. Considered by many as a milestone, the collapse of the Portugal à Frente coalition paved the way for a left-led government headed by the alliance formed by the Socialist Party (PS), the Left Bloc and the Communist Party together with the Greens.
On Sunday, October 4th, Portugal had national elections. Seventeen parties entered the fight. Following the social crisis outcry, expectations and predictions reflected the general sentiment that the Socialists would be the next winners. How can we explain, then, that the voters rewarded the parties (PSD and CDS) that had made their lives so miserable with austerity measures?
By Christos Mouzeviris
Ever since the victory of Syriza and the formation of the current Greek government, the country found itself on the spotlight of the European and global media. Speculations on a potential Grexit, combined with scathing attacks against Syriza’s policies and leadership became common. But is solely Greece, all which is wrong in Europe and the euro-zone? Perhaps the reality is very different if we examine some facts.
Starting from the recent Tsipras – Rajoy war of words, on who sabotages whom at the Eurogroup and in electoral politics, I attempt to put together evidence that shows a major shift in European politics. Building also on an increasing number of satirical videos about European politics, and from my personal experience, I reach an anecdotal, not so scientific but most probably correct conclusion: We are getting a European demos, in which we all feel comfortable enough and are knowledgeable enough about each other to be able to make jokes, break the ice, get on each other’s nerves occasionally, but basically express what we increasingly realize that we are: a diverse, noisy, funny, stubborn, intrusive and generous section of humanity that one could call “the Europeans”.