2012-06-04 at 12:52
Portugal has achieved «all the quantitative criteria and structural goals» of the 4th revision of the Financial and Economical Adjustment Program signed up with the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund ('troika') one year ago, said the Minister of State and Finance, Vítor Gaspar, in the presentation of the conclusions of this 4th exam.
The deficit of 4,5% of the Gross National Product (GNP) to 2012 will be achieved, according to the official previsions, but there are risks and uncertainness in areas such as social security and revenue, referred the Minister, saying that «our present previsions are aligned with the goal for the budget deficit to 2013», which is of 3% of the GNP. «The public debt shall get to a maximum value of 118 % of the GNP to 2013, and getting more and more reduced in the following years».
The Minister pointed out that «our economy is still revealing a notable adjustment capacity, in spite of the adverse conditions». Although, the «perspectives of evolution in the rest of the world are becoming worst», which can reflect on the exportations. Vítor Gaspar insisted that «the stability of the euro area is vital to Portugal». «No
wadays, in this uncertain times we should focus on what we control, which is our work and our effort».
This exam highlighted the measures that the Govern has taken to finance the economy. As Vítor Gaspar referred, there are four main aspects: the access to the liquidity available by the European Central Bank; the recapitalization of the banking sector; the reduction of the delay payments in the Public Administration, especially in the Health area and in the Supportive Program to the Local Economy; and the main role of the Bank of Portugal to assure that the banks are not concentrating their credits in bankrupt companies, but in companies and projects which stimulate the economy.
The Minister said also that «in the last two exams there was no discussion of additional measures with the 'troika'». About the discussion about reducing more the salaries, the Minister of State and Finance said that «the cost with the labor have been dropping more and more», because when the companies have financial problems they tend to reduce the labor costs, «which is inevitable, mas undesirable». The Govern «has not a vision based on low salaries, we defend both good jobs and salaries, but to achieve that future we need to be well succeed in this process of adjustment».
The Govern will also «evaluate the possibility of, within the 2013 Budget, operate a specific reduction on the contribution to the social security by the employers, so the creation of new jobs can be stimulated», specially to those groups where the unemployment is worst. «Naturally, to concretize this measure we need to have budget enough», the Minister concluded.