Portuguese parliament passes Costa’s programme for the next four years
Portugal’s parliament has approved the four-year legislative programme proposed by the government, giving Prime Minister Antonio Costa authority to govern in his second term.
As expected, no party challenged the programme, with lawmakers mainly urging Costa to live up to his promises to continue prodding forward the growth of the country’s economy.
Those promises include raising the monthly minimum wage by 25% to 750 euros by 2023, reducing public debt, and closing two coal-fired power plants. He also seeks to “eradicate all housing shortages” by 2024.
Costa won a general election on Oct. 6, expanding the Socialists’ parliamentary presence as the biggest party but still leaving it just shy of a majority.
He has been in talks with the left-wing parties that had backed him in parliament over the past four years, as part of the “geringonça”, but they only agreed to negotiate support for legislation on a case-by-case basis, without a formal long-term pact. This could come back to bite Mr. Costa.
Next year’s budget bill, which the government intends to submit to parliament by mid-December, is likely to be Costa’s first big test. His far-left allies in the previous legislature demanded more public spending, especially on healthcare and education.