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Despite the Ukraine war, Portugal’s prime minister says the country should focus on growth and the deficit

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News Tech: Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa took office for a third term on Wednesday, pledging to use EU money to keep economic growth on pace and further reduce the budget deficit despite challenges caused by the war in Ukraine. Costa’s centre-left socialists won a clear majority in early elections on January 30 after leading minority governments for more than six years. The Portuguese Prime Minister can now focus on using the €52 billion of EU funds available to the government until 2027, including €16.6 billion from the pandemic recovery package.

Portugal’s budget deficit is expected to shrink from his 2.8% of gross domestic product in 2021 to hers 1.9% this year, before dwindling to zero over the next four years. The Costa government has admitted that growth could slow to his 3.8% this year as the war in Ukraine continues to weigh on the country’s external demand, pushing up energy prices.

Costa called the situation “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” but admitted that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has made the prospects more difficult. In his inaugural address in Lisbon, Costa said: “This war adds a large element of uncertainty but we will not give up on the growth targets we have set, and will seek to balance budgets and sustainably reduce public debt. “We have pursued a path of growth.” The government forecasts economic growth of 5% this year, up from 4.9% in 2021. The 2021 economy has recovered from his 8.4% pandemic-related contraction.

“The next few years will not be as easy as Costa thought a few months ago,” said Paulo Rosa, senior economist at Banco Caregosa, adding that energy costs and inflation and interest rates could rise further pointed out. Eurozone. “If growth is weak in this situation, it could probably be below 3% given the country’s huge public debt (127.4% of GDP in 2021),” Rosa said. rice field.

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