Portuguese PM says recovering economy to be “a long way”

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Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said Saturday that the highest priority of his government at the moment is “to recover the economy” of Portugal, but it will be “a long way.”

“If in the emergency phase it’s essential to control the pandemic without killing the economy, now we have to recover the economy without letting the pandemic go out of control,” he said in his opening speech at an event of the ruling Socialist Party (PS).

According to the head of government, it will be necessary to “prepare the conditions so that, after the economy and society are stabilized, it could be possible to recover the country’s economic activity.”

“It will be a long way, not in two months, certainly not in a year. But time should not frighten us, what should motivate us is the understanding that we have to focus on the essential, because in two months we have lost a lot of what we have recovered in five years,” he said.

Costa, who is also general-secretary of the PS, stated that the “second major priority” is “the ability to respond to real problems on the most different fronts of activity,” referring to the aid to flag carrier TAP.

During the past week, the Portuguese government reached an agreement with TAP shareholders to inject 1.2 billion euros (1.34 billion U.S. dollars) in exchange for raising its stake in the airline from 50 percent to 72.5 percent.

Costa cited relations with the European Union as the “third highest priority” of the government. Meanwhile, he said that “Europe has lost time to respond to what is essential.”

“We have to make a huge effort to approve, in July, the recovery fund proposed by the European Commission. It is absolutely vital and there are two ways. Either we all get out of the crisis together, or nobody is going to get out,” he concluded. Enditem

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