Portugal socialists tell investors they are ‘not Syriza’
Portugal's Socialist Party leader Antonio Costa in a bid to reassure investors told AFP Tuesday that a left-wing government would respect trade commitments and would avoid any new crises in the eurozone.
“Europe can rest easy, the Socialist Party is not Syriza,” Costa said, in reference to Greece’s radical-left ruling party which earlier this year saw the country edge very near a chaotic fallout from the eurozone.
Costa’s party and its potential Communist and Left Bloc coalition partners “have clearly said that an exit from the euro and renegotiating debt are not on the negotiation table,” he said.
The opposition leader’s remarks came a day after he raised the prospect of forming an “alternative government” with the other two leftist parties, after inconclusive elections on October 4 saw the ruling centre-right fall short of an outright victory.
“We will not create a new crisis, but rather contribute to stabilising the eurozone with an economic policy that reinforces growth, employment and which responds to the social crisis in Portugal,” Costa said.
Portugal emerged in May 2014 from a three-year, 78-billion-euro ($88-billion) international bailout, and the prospect of a fragile government has rattled investors.
“The investors shouldn’t be concerned. Although there is no majority in government, we are capable of finding stable solutions as is the tradition in Portugal,” said Costa, a former mayor of Lisbon.
A left-wing government would “take as its basis the Socialist Party programme, which is committed to Portugal’s commitments to the European Union”, he said.
Talks with the ruling centre-right are ongoing, Costa said ahead of a meeting Tuesday evening with Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho.
“The electoral results have clearly shown the Portuguese people’s will for political change. We are making an effort to find a solution that can guarantee a stable government for the next four years,” he added.
“It will be the end of the blind policy of austerity that the government of Pedro Passos Coelho has been following.”