The Portuguese decision to go for a “clean exit” from its financial assistance program represents a sign of confidence in the future, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said Monday.
“A good day for a strong Portugal in a strong Europe, he said. The decision “is a sign of confidence in the future,” he added.
For Eurogroup President, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, “Portugal took the right decision with this option” warning that “you cannot spend money that you do not have.”
“I think that the circumstances prevailing in the market are fairly good and that Portugal has made a good job of re-adjustment and changing its economy in budgetary terms (…), the perspectives have improved significantly in the last two years and I understand the optimism and do support it,” Dijsselbloem remarked.
Speaking at an Amnesty International conference held in Lisbon on Monday, socialist leader Mário Soares, former Prime Minister and President of Portugal, remarked that there are currently “no human rights in Portugal.”
For him, the center-right Social Democrat Party and Popular Party coalition government had “never thought about human rights” throughout their three and a half years in office.
He said, “A government that only thinks about money and the markets is only able to do nonsense and that is what it has been doing really.” The former Socialist President also added, “Currently, the great majority of people do not have the money to eat properly and their kids are trawling through dumpsters.”
Speaking against the government austerity measures, he also quoted Pope Francis by saying, “Austerity kills,” and he added, “Any more austerity and we are going to be losing a lot more people,” referring to the brain drain resulting from the current hostile economic environment.
In May 2011, Portugal requested a €78 billion ($104 billion) bailout from the IMF, the European Central Bank and its EU partners, aimed to reducing the national deficit. Ending the 3-year bailout program on May 17th, Portugal is likely to return to the international bond markets in June.