Since the beginning of the legislature, a growing problem was expected for a minority government where Prime Minister António Costa proudly understood that he could govern, without formally assuming a stable parliamentary majority. If in the previous legislature this was enshrined in the instrument that forged the contraption, in the current one, the PS understood that its partners would, in the name of the left, endorse its solitary strategy.
Soon the former partners realized their space and the added value of the cost of their vote. Jerónimo and Catarina, each in their own way, decided to sell their support dearly, very dearly. And the great opportunity presented itself with the Budget for 2021.
Without the skill and experience of Mário Centeno, without the political consistency of the past five years, in the midst of a pandemic crisis and at the gates of the Portuguese presidency of the European Union, only the holding of presidential elections can prevent an immediate and deeper crisis. António Costa does not seem to have learned the lesson of the Guterres swamp, where Barroso's fine political intelligence prevailed, preferring to believe that the call for stability is a sufficient condition to maintain himself.
Even if the Budget is approved, it should be the last of the current legislature. The PS seems to be preparing for the victimization strategy in the next semester, to spread the European funds that in the meantime arrive in Portugal (delayed due to the episode in the East), and to try to provoke early elections in October next year, right after the elections. municipalities.
This is a fragmented Budget, without a clear vision and with diffuse deadlines, except in sponsoring the National Health Service to stop Covid and create added social responses in a patchwork, in which the existing instruments will allow someone, sometime, always get support, a subsidy, a response, if not, have access to several at the same time.
The economic fabric meanwhile languishes, in the crumbs of support whose bureaucracy prevents effective response, in the face of announced insolvencies, only surpassed by successive government announcements of measures that, by their number, must suck what is left of the State Budget.
The circumstances of the justification for the increase in the deficit and debt are created, as well as the lack of structural and future measures, where the economic recovery plans have only a “strategic vision” but have no political support or visible financial resources.
One of the assumptions required by the European Commission is the implementation of structural reforms as a counterpart for the necessary financing. Now, to carry out reforms, a stable parliamentary majority is needed that the PS does not have, nor is it capable of creating.
Therefore, this Budget can only be a letter of freedom until the next elections. And it will not be the opposition that will overthrow the Government. It will be the leader of the PS who will cause the fall so as not to get stuck in the ballots of the votes of the left that does not give him what he wants, nor of the right that will not give him what he does not deserve.