Rui Rio considers that European funds should be invested “without a doubt” in companies

In a panel on “the future of Portugal”, the social-democratic leader said that it is necessary to “re-industrialize the economy” nationally and that only afterwards should one look at public investment, contrary to what the Government has been doing.

JOSE COELHO / LUSA

The president of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) defended this Wednesday that European funds destined for the recovery of the Portuguese economy should be invested "without a doubt" in companies. The Social Democratic leader, Rui Rio, considers that it is necessary to “reindustrialize the national economy” and that only afterwards should one look at public investment, contrary to what the Government has been doing.

“I have no doubts [about where the money from the European Union should be invested]: in companies for the re-industrialization of the economy. Why? Because we need better jobs and the way to achieve that is to reform our economy ”, said Rui Rio, in a panel dedicated to the“ future of Portugal ”, on the first day of Web Summit 2020, which this year is exclusively online.

So that this reindustrialization of the economy can happen, Rui Rio, considers it essential that the Government takes measures to “support companies”. The absence of more support for companies was, in fact, one of the reasons that led the PSD to vote against the State Budget for 2021 (OE2021). Only after betting on companies, does the social-democratic leader consider that the Government should look at “public investment”.

“The second priority must be public investment, which has been very low over the past 10 years. We need public investment in the railroad, for example, but that should not be the priority. This is perhaps the biggest difference between my party and the Government, which puts public investment as the first priority, but companies must be in the first place ”, explained Rui Rio.

By betting on companies, the PSD leader believes that not only is it contributing to private initiative, but also to employment, with the creation of “better jobs and better wages”.

National interest above all during the pandemic

On the pandemic, Rui Rio said that “there is a duty for all institutions and political parties, even those who are in opposition, to collaborate with the Government against a common enemy”, which is Covid-19 and which is “very strong". “It is in the national interest”, he stressed.

“In March and April, I did not criticize the Government. Why? because at the time we had no know-how and I knew I couldn't do it better than the Prime Minister. It wouldn't be fair or honest to criticize if you couldn't do better. Now it is different: now I can help and collaborate but also criticize, because now I know how to do it a little better ”, explained the Social Democratic leader.

Asked what he would have done differently, Rui Rio said that "he would have planned better in July, August and September, because we knew we were going to have a second wave" and referred that "there were mistakes on the part of the Government and it was not planned well".

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