Socialists victorious in Portuguese election
António Costa wins but falls short of absolute majority, with negotiations for new left-wing alliance likely.
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.
Read more at https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/10/portugal-elections-economy-socialist-party-left-bloc-francisco-louca