Costa believes he is leaving a country better prepared to face challenges

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The Prime Minister says he is leaving a better country after eight years of Socialist government leadership, considering that Portugal is prepared to face the challenges of a more qualified population and less debt.

António Costa defended this position in his ninth and last Christmas message as prime minister, about a month and a half after resigning as head of government because of a judicial investigation and when early parliamentary elections are scheduled for March 10.

“In these eight years in which I have had the opportunity to get to know the Portuguese and Portugal even better, I have only strengthened my confidence in our homeland. It is with this reinforced confidence in each one of you, in our collective capacity, in Portugal, that I say goodbye, wishing you a merry Christmas, an excellent 2024 and the certainty that the Portuguese will continue to make each new year an even better one,” said the leader of the executive at the end of his message.

In his message, António Costa said that he had concluded that the last eight years had proved that he had “good reasons” to trust the country.

“Together we have overcome the anguish of the pandemic; together we have ensured that the tragedy of the 2017 fires is not repeated; together we have achieved more and better jobs; we have reduced poverty and reduced inequalities; we have restored tranquillity to families’ daily lives; together we have attracted more investment from companies and won more exports; we have restored rights and balanced public accounts; together we have overcome difficulties and together we have built a better country,” he advocated.

In his view, there is reason to be confident that Portugal “is prepared to overcome the major challenges” it faces.

“Our level of qualifications is close to the best European standards. We have recovered a deficit that was centuries old. And this recovery is due to the extraordinary efforts of families, young people and, persistently, public policies over the last two decades,” he stressed.

On the environmental front, “the biggest challenge”, António Costa pointed out that “Portugal is the European Union country best placed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045”.

“By October, 63% of the electricity we consumed came from renewables. This figure will rise to 80% by 2026. For Portugal, investment in the energy transition, in addition to its duty to help save humanity, is also an extraordinary economic opportunity to create jobs, enhance natural resources and replace imports with exports,” he explained.

On the financial front, the Prime Minister stressed that Portugal “has managed to free itself from decades of chronic budget deficits”.

“But we did it on the basis of economic growth, valuing the incomes of those who work and those who live off their pensions. Having less debt means greater external credibility, but above all it means greater freedom for the Portuguese,” he said.

For these reasons, according to António Costa, the Portuguese can “continue to have confidence in the future”.

“The confidence that we will continue to converge with the most developed countries in the European Union, as has happened again in recent years,” he said.

In his message, the Prime Minister also assumed that “there are problems” that Portugal has to overcome and warned that “there will always have to be strength and determination to face them”.

“But we have a lot of work going on and we can’t stop. In the face of adversity, we have a duty to be persistent and never give up. And that’s why the message I want to leave you today is, once again, a message of confidence. Of confidence in ourselves, the Portuguese; of confidence in Portugal, our country,” he added.

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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