The Prime Minister of Portugal, António Costa, today left a warning to the European partners on the way forward in the recovery from the covid-19 pandemic, stressing that the only way is a "global response".
“No one in Europe will come out of this crisis if we don't all come out together. Many say that it is a question of discussing solidarity, but no. It is purely rational: we all live and depend on the internal market, which interests everyone, from the most to the least affected. Either we all go out together or we all perish together ”, stressed the Portuguese Prime Minister.
In a video message sent to the global summit of the ILO (International Labor Organization) dedicated to the theme “Covid-19 and the world of work”, the Prime Minister stressed the importance of having a “strong” and capable European Union (EU) to go this way.
“We know well that it is not a mission that each one can carry out in isolation, just as no country can do it alone in this global economy. That is why the answer has to be global, and then the ILO's word is fundamental. This is not the time to break with multilateral organizations, it is the time to reinforce them, to strengthen the capacity for coordination and economic response. More than ever we need a strong EU ”, stressed António Costa.
The leader of the executive considered that the example of the European Commission should be followed, that through the extraordinary program of economic recovery it will be possible to “bequeath to future generations a reconstructed, recovered Europe that is again the engine of a global economy”.
“That is why countries must come together and work together to find fair solutions, always bearing in mind that our collective future will only be achieved with greater labor equality and more rights, robust and broader social protection, and with an eye different for the potential of different countries, ”he added.
Assuming that this crisis has “unprecedented contours”, António Costa highlighted the path Portugal took in responding to the pandemic, extolling the merits of social status.
“The pandemic crisis has made the value of the welfare state unquestionable. It was thanks to the social state that we managed to have a robust SNS, capable of responding to the needs of the Portuguese, it was thanks to this social state that we had a Social Security, reformulated in recent years in its sustainability, able to respond promptly to the needs of job protection , the income of families and workers, and it was also the social state that allowed a public school, which, even if prevented from working in person, was able to reinvent itself in new forms of distance work, but which never left its students ”, recalled the head of government.
Regarding the measures adopted in Portugal to support workers and companies, António Costa highlighted the simplification of the lay-off measures, the extraordinary support to families and the automatic extension of unemployment benefits, recognizing that “times of exception” are being experienced and that this crisis has “asymmetric consequences”.
"We cannot conform to this reality and we have to work, in order to get out of this crisis, to have more just, egalitarian societies that ensure greater social protection for all", concludes the Portuguese Prime Minister.