Notas ao café…

As desculpas de Sócrates

Posted in notas ao café by JN on Outubro 25, 2010


Paresh Nath, «The Khaleej Times»

Assim se chama ao artigo da The Economist; segundo esta publicação o plano de José Sócrates peca por ser tardio e não atacar alguns dos problemas estruturais do Estado português como a justiça e a Educação:

SPANISH matadors kill bulls in the ring; the Portuguese put them down after the fight. When the Greek debt crisis threatened to engulf Iberia in May, Spain went in for the kill, slashing spending and freezing pensions. The more measured approach of José Sócrates, Portugal’s prime minister, involved limiting wage cuts to politicians and senior civil servants, increasing value-added tax and postponing big infrastructure projects. Spain’s quick moves helped it escape the storm. But Portugal’s borrowing costs soared to a euro-era record in September. Now Mr Sócrates has been forced to accept his mistake with a new austerity package at least as tough as Spain’s. […]

[I]t was in the name of growth that Mr Sócrates doggedly resisted more drastic measures until the bond markets forced his hand. He argues that, unlike some other troubled euro-zone countries, Portugal suffered neither a housing nor a banking crisis. Greece, Ireland and Spain all have bigger deficits and lower growth. To keep government borrowing costs manageable, however, he has been forced to take an axe to the deficit.

Painful austerity is an essential condition for lasting growth, but it is not enough on its own. According to the OECD, the only way for Portugal to improve competitiveness, reduce its debt burden and fulfil its growth potential is through structural reforms: tackling the inflexible labour market, improving the schools and boosting the efficiency of the legal system. Portugal may at last have bowed to the markets but there are plenty more battles to come.

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