As we say in our country, better late than never. By praising the results of the austerity program in Greece, Mario Centeno also praised the work of the Passos Coelho government. The performance of the Passos government was in all respects superior to that of the Tsipras government. The economic recession was lower, unemployment was lower. And the cutbacks on wages and pensions were equally small. Moreover, the Portuguese economy started to grow faster than the Greek economy and unemployment fell faster. In short, budget cuts in Portugal were less severe than in Greece. It is impossible to praise the results of the Greek program without even praising the Portuguese program.
Centeno does this not only for reasons of domestic policy, which is understood. But all the Portuguese realized how the Minister of Finance legitimized the legacy of the previous government. And nobody in the socialist executive, including António Costa, reacted to Centeno. As a defender of the government of Passos Coelho, I can only say: thank you, Mario Centeno.
Centeno & # 39; s words also reveal his thinking and, more importantly, his acting as Minister of Finance. Rye is tight on public accounts to keep the deficit under control. Compared to the Ministers of Passos, the task of Centeno was simpler. It benefited from the heritage received and the favorable European economic context, but nevertheless imposed its version of austerity. It was not a cutback on cuts in wages and pensions, but rather a cutback on cuts in government investment. Politically, the sobriety of government investment causes less dissatisfaction among the Portuguese and the complicity of the PCP and the Block guarantee social peace.
However, the strong criticism of extreme-left – and still not stopped – on the statements of Centeno shows the discomfort of the comedians of the thing. They are suspicious that the Portuguese finally realize that the PCP and the block have abandoned ideological principles for access to power and try to hide the obvious. But how many virgins can have our left? They also know that the choice of a minister of a socialist government for the Eurogroup presidency means the legitimacy of austerity policy by the European socialist family. In Spain the government of the PSOE also helps to legitimize the policy of the euro zone. And, unlike the We Can in Spain, the Block is complicit in the strategy of the Eurogroup.
In Europe, the largest ally of the bloc and the PCP against the eurozone's fiscal policy is the populist government of Italy. Within a few weeks Rome will be in conflict with Brussels (and with Berlin and Paris) because of fiscal rules. It will be interesting to see which side the PCP and the block will be. With Centeno, an ally in Portugal, on the side of European financial orthodoxy, or with Salvini, the big populist enemy of the right side of the increase in government spending? Is Salvini's opposition to the budgetary discipline of Brussels the Molotov-Ribbentrop moment of the Portuguese Marxist Left?