For much of Europe, reasons for joy are thin on the ground. In Germany, the engine of European growth, the vital, export-dependent manufacturing sector is stuttering. Italy is plagued by economic and political instability, its relationship with Brussels tense. The UK is edging towards a disastrous no-deal Brexit, which could poison its relationship with the EU for years. On top of all of this, there is the turbulence of the US-China currency war and decoupling of global supply chains.
A little hope comes from an unusual quarter: Portugal, which last week led Moody’s, the rating agency, to upgrade its outlook from stable to positive. Its success stems from both sound policy choices and a healthy dose of good fortune. Prime Minister António Costa still has much to do in a country where public debt remains above 100 per cent of gross domestic product. Nonetheless, he has reason to be more optimistic than many other European leaders. The alliance between Mr Costa’s Socialist Party (PS) and further left groups such as the anti-establishment Left Bloc was considered tenuous when it was forged in 2015. Yet in stark contrast to Italy, the coalition has remained both stable and functional, presiding over a general uptick in Portugal’s fortunes. Public-sector wages have returned to pre-crisis levels, while the country’s budget deficit could reach zero by the end of this year. Unemployment has halved to 6.7 per cent, compared to around 14 per cent in neighbouring Spain, which has undergone its own recovery.
Portugal’s low crime rate and welcoming atmosphere have been a boon, appealing to both immigrants and external investors. The alliance cannot be given all the credit for Portugal’s recent good fortunes. A global economic recovery and an international tourism boom played major roles. So did the difficult but necessary work of the previous centre-right government, which implemented an austerity programme between 2011 and 2014, in return for a €78bn bailout from the European Central Bank, European Commission and IMF. The move helped to slash the budget deficit and reformed the public sector. It also pushed the country into the worst recession in almost four decades, triggering a mass exodus of workers. Campaigning in the last election at the end of that period, the canny Mr Costa benefited from the legacy of tough centre-right actions even as he pitched himself as an anti-austerity candidate. His critics on both sides of the political spectrum argue he has not fully lived up to that pledge, dubbing some of his policies “austerity-lite”. Mr Costa has been accused of being too cautious in investment while cutting the deficit, and of increasing indirect charges to make up for income tax cuts elsewhere.
Portugal still faces many other problems. State workers are protesting about earnings lost in the eurozone crisis. Tanker drivers recently held a seven-day strike over pay and workers’ rights, leading to some fuel rationing at the height of the tourist season. In elections in October, Mr Costa is expected to return as prime minister at the head of a leftwing coalition, or potentially even win an outright majority. He should continue down the now proven path of fiscal prudence but without punitive austerity. The prime minister should also carry out deeper reforms of the country’s outdated public administration. There is work to be done in banking as well, although stability in the sector has improved markedly in recent years. As storm clouds gather over the world economy, Portugal must have a clearer vision for its future direction and economic strategies.
About Portugal Homes
PortugalHomes.com specializes in selling Holiday Homes and Investment Properties. We help buyers find the right property overseas whether it be for Golden Visa, NHR, Investment or simply a place in the sun, our properties are selected with great thought in mind to give our clients the best opportunities, we offer the complete service from Introducing them to Legal Representatives, Currency Exchange, Mortgage Advisors, Property Management, Rental and Furniture Packages along with making sure all our staff are trained to fully understand the buying process and taxes for every scenario, we provide the complete service to anyone looking to buy a new or resale property overseas for holiday use or as a short or long-term investment.
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A Portugal Homes possui profissionais muito experientes e conhecedores, que trabalham com alguns dos promotores mais reconhecidos em Portugal . A nossa vasta experiência permite-nos guiá-lo pelas melhores opções de investimento.
Seja casa de férias ou uma propriedade para investimento, selecionamos as melhores propriedades para o seu perfil e tratamos de todo o processo do início ao fim. Mesmo após a venda! Os nossos serviços de pós-venda assumem a responsabilidade de mobilar a seu gosto, manter a propriedade na sua ausência, dar apoio ao arrendamento, no caso de querer arrendar e muito mais!
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É fantástico como o Ryan tinha um conhecimento completo sobre Lisboa e nos tratou da melhor maneira.Akbar Ali - Investidor do Paquistão
Ryan é muito profissional, mas também amigável e conhecedor do mercado Golden Visa. Também se mostrou flexível, pois, com um curto aviso prévio, viajou do Algarve para me se reunir comigo em Lisboa e substituir 1 colega.Investir do Reino Unido
A Portugal Homes fez um excelente trabalho mantendo-me atualizado sobre o progresso da compra da minha nova casa, fornecendo relatórios regulares e abrangentes. Isto ajudou-me a aliviar a ansiedade sobre a compra de uma casa durante a pandemia.Investidor dos EUA
Embora através do Zoom, estabelecemos uma grande confiança na integridade do George. [Foi] importante para nós ter confiança na capacidade do staff em se sentir alinhados em visões.Donald Collie de Austrália
O processo foi bastante rápido e claro. Obtive toda a informação que precisava na primeira hora de conversa. A experiência foi perfeita.Tomoko Inoue do Japão
Overwhelming. Luisa has exceeded our expectations on all levels. Trust was established immediately. Enhanced by super friendly professionalism. The networks to banks, accountants, lawyers was seamless. there is not enough space here to write all the positives, enough to say we are making an offer and we only arrived 4 days ago. Its impossible to improve from perfection!John Mulroe and Wiebke Bock