This content was posted on October 25, 2021 – 7:46 pm
By Sergio Gonçalves
LISBON (Reuters) – Portugal’s socialist government may be on the brink of collapse after six years of ruling with a minority as its far-left former allies threaten to vote against the 2022 budget later this week.
President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa on Monday called for “common sense”, warning that without a budget, which relies heavily on European Union pandemic recovery funds, “there will be no alternative to the immediate dissolution of Parliament” and transfer two years ahead of schedule.
Prime Minister António Costa’s Socialists have 108 of the 230 seats in Parliament and need at least nine other parliamentarians to abstain during the first vote on Wednesday.
Last-minute deals and ultimatums haven’t stopped the approval of the Socialists’ previous budgets, but some analysts caution that the participants’ room for maneuver.
Communist leader Jerônimo de Sousa said his ten lawmakers will vote against, warning that his supporters are not afraid of elections.
“We’ve gone to our limit in the pale months of duration, and just a sleight of hand would change our vote against the budget,” he told reporters.
Left Bloc leader Catarina Martins said she was still open to negotiations until Wednesday, but that the party, which has 19 seats, will vote against the budget unless the government accepts some of its proposals.