Portugal, socialist triumph, Costa has an absolute majority

from Andrea Nicastro

The conservatives detached by ten points. The leap of the far right from one deputy to almost ten is worrying

Antonio Costa has won his bet. The socialist premier has left the comfort zone of a coalition that had lasted for 6 years and has called Portugal to an early election. All or nothing. The polls gave him head to head with the conservative party, unable to re-propose the same alliance, even ousted by a right-wing majority. Instead Costa even achieved an absolute majority of seats. His PS, the first party in all the districts, snatched almost all the traditional fiefdoms of the North from the conservatives. Since 2015, Costa has increased support with every election and can now become the longest-serving prime minister of Lusitanian democracy. The final results give Costa’s Socialist Party (PS) to 41%, with 117 deputies
two more than half of the seats available in the Portuguese Parliament.

Behind the socialists, at 27%, the conservatives who in Portugal call themselves Social Democrats (PSD). The defeat led to the resignation of leader Rui Rio. Third force, 7%, is the populist right of Andr Ventura, a former sports commentator. The Liberals fourth at 4.9%. The Communist / Green Party and the Left Bloc are precipitated, both just over 4%. According to the winner, these were the most important elections in Portuguese history. Costa was thinking of the Next Generation Eu money that is about to arrive. They will be between 4 and 6 thousand euros for each citizen.

Brussels is offering them to modernize infrastructure (about thirty billion) and to increase the competitiveness of private companies (about 15 billion). A rain to tempt any government. Costa requested and imagined them to make the country change its profession: no longer just tourism, but digital creativity. Thus, when the allies of the radical left challenged his 2022 budget, too timid and not very redistributive in their opinion, Costa overturned the table and bet on the vote. After six years of coexistence in a Geringon coalition (translate as sgarruppata perhaps gives the idea) Costa wanted a free hand, he dreamed of an absolute majority. He was right. The Portuguese – he said at the first exit polls – have clarified. But having an absolute majority does not mean governing alone.
The turnout also proved him right. Dismissing the forecasts that spoke of record abstention, the Portuguese reached almost 60% of turnout, reversing the disengagement trend that had lasted for almost 20 years.

He also helped organize the vote. 10% of positive voters or those quarantined for Covid (one million people) were able to vote in reserved seats and times. The Portuguese majority system gives the lion’s share to the two major parties. In the new Parliament there will be 117 Socialists, 71 Social Democrats, Chega’s populists! 12. To all the other few units. In the last six years, Costa has been able to restore welfare crippled by the Lehman Brothers financial crisis and by the rigorism of pre-Draghi Europe, invented about 1 point of GDP by welcoming rich tax-free pensioners, another 10 points by giving the center of Lisbon to the Funds Real estate and tourism. He has brought unemployment from 18 to 6/8 per cent and has achieved growth rates that are steadily above the continental average, but his Portugal still remains in the queue of the European welfare train. The 45 billion euros of the European Recovery Plan are necessary for the decisive leap. The idea of ​​investing in 5G, digitization, simplification, to attract start-ups to Portugal looking for a lower cost of living and a more pleasant climate than the Irish or Baltic one. Since last night, a Portugal protagonist of the closest virtual world.

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