The situation in Portugal

Socialists victorious in Portuguese election

António Costa wins but falls short of absolute majority, with negotiations for new left-wing alliance likely.

By The Socialist Party of Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa scored a comfortable victory in Sunday’s general election but failed to secure an absolute majority in parliament.
The result opens up the possibility of a renewal of Costa’s partnership with parties on the far left, which has allowed a Socialist minority government to rule for the past four years.
“The Socialist Party has clearly won this election and strengthened its political position,” Costa told cheering supporters in the early hours of Monday morning. “The Portuguese want a new, stronger Socialist government, able to govern with stability.”
The Socialists won 36.6 percent of the vote with over 99 percent of stations reporting, followed by the center-right Social Democratic Party (PSD) on 27.9 percent, its worst result since 1983.
With the smaller conservative CDS-People’s Party (CDS-PP) getting just 4.2 percent, the night was a serious reversal for Portugal’s mainstream right.

Making Portugal’s Break With Austerity Real

An interview with Francisco Louçã
As Portugal heads to the polls this Sunday, the Socialist government boasts of its success in breaking the country out of austerity. Yet as the Left Bloc’s Francisco Louçã tells Jacobin, the current low-investment growth model is unsustainable — and fundamental questions around debt restructuring and the Eurozone architecture remain to be answered.
For many on the European center-left, Portugal stands as proof that it is possible to break out of austerity without any need for a “populist” offensive against Brussels. For the Guardian, Portugal today stands as “Europe’s beacon of social democracy”; for the New Stateman, it is “Europe’s socialist success story.” Since 2015 the Socialist-led government has been acclaimed for its role in escaping the sovereign debt crisis, returning Portugal to growth even while taking poverty-reduction measures.The government is especially notable for its parliamentary majority, dependent on the external support of both the Left Bloc and the Communists. Yet if Portuguese right-wingers deem Costa “in hock to the extreme left,” his government can also be seen as a rejuvenation of mainstream social democracy. Where other austerity-hit countries have seen a rise of Eurosceptic or otherwise populist forces, polls for Sunday’s vote suggest a strengthening of the Socialists’ position, outstripping even their success in the 2015 contest.