The leader of the PAN, Inês Sousa Real, meets next week with the prime minister, António Costa, for the start of negotiations for the State Budget for 2022 and reveals, in an interview with Renaissance, the specifications of the Animal People and Nature (PAN) party, which includes the renegotiation of Novo Banco contracts, the increase in Social Insertion Income or the end of public-private partnerships in the road sector.
The party’s spokesperson warns the Government that it is necessary to “go further” in the budget execution of the measures that were agreed and makes the negotiations of the next Budget depend on that.
As for the future, Inês Sousa Real says she is convinced that “the time will come for the PAN to be called to be the Government”.
Susana Madureira Martins
When will negotiations start with the Government on the 2022 State Budget (SO)?
It will start next week, however, regarding the 2021 budget execution, we have already had meetings with the Government to take stock of the measures. So far, it has been a little short of what was desirable at this time of year. About 30% of our measurements [acordadas com o Governo] are executed, but it is still too short for what must be the Government’s commitment to comply not only with the measures that are included in the negotiations made during the work of the State Budget for this year, but also with the others that were approved by the Assembly of the Republic.
Next week, we will also meet with the Government, namely with the Prime Minister and, internally, the PAN is already working and will convene its National Political Commission so that we can debate our priorities for the 2022 State Budget , bearing in mind that this is not just any budget, it is essential to lay the foundations for the country’s economic and social recovery.
Do you want to anticipate one or two PAN proposals that are truly strategic and that will lead to these meetings with the Government?
First of all, there are some red lines here that we cannot fail to mention. There has to be a renegotiation of the Novo Banco contracts, we cannot continue to have a bottomless hole in what was one of the biggest white-collar crimes in our country, the money exists, taking into account not only the community funds, but also the funds from the OE and it is essential that they serve to help people who are currently experiencing extreme hardship.
Also in terms of perverse subsidies, for example, for aviation and shipping, which continue to benefit from incomprehensible tax free rides. For the PAN, it is essential to put an end to these exemptions, along with other tax free rides, for example, for public-private road partnerships.
On the other hand, the investment will have to revisit the RSI values [Rendimento Social de Inserção], because we cannot enter a new route of poverty and impoverishment in the country.
An increase in RSI by how much, is it already thought?
We are working precisely to understand what the reasonable value to propose will be. In other words, it is a measure that we had already proposed the year before, but the economic context is completely different and we are internally working on that dossier.
On the other hand, we want more green entrepreneurship and, for that, there needs to be more investment in forest management and ecosystem services, because we have to make the so-called ecological transition.
In relation to banking, will the PAN in negotiations with the Government make the renegotiation of Novo Banco contracts a workhorse? Without that, don’t we have a budget voted by the PAN?
The PAN argues that there must be a renegotiation of the contracts, it makes no sense to us and we understand that Portugal has a commitment and cannot default, but we argue that, given the bad management of Novo Banco, it is completely feasible that the Government renegotiates the contract and therefore it makes no sense for us to be feeding this bottomless cake.
This is one of the proposals that we will return to in this OE, without a doubt absolutely, along with other matters, such as the fight against corruption, which can only be fought with means and we need a structural reform in justice. The country loses €18 billion to corruption every year.
On what to depend on the PAN the country will not be left to live in twelfths?
It is still too early for us to make this assessment. We still don’t know what the Government’s general lines are for this Budget, nor do we know to what extent it will be available to meet the demands of parties like the PAN, not only in these matters, but also in matters that are very dear to us. , such as animal protection and environmental protection, but we will have to listen to the general lines of the Government.
It can’t be more of the same. At the moment, everything is open, not least because the negotiation of the Budget will depend, in fact, on the timing of the execution of the 2021 measures, because we cannot continue to live on promises and have measures approved and then not implemented.
The Government says that a significant part of OE2021 is already executed and that the balance is positive. For the PAN, is the non-execution of the budget practically entirely a grain in the gear in the negotiations of the next OE?
No doubt. There are measures that are being implemented and some are even quite positive. For example, the carbon tax for navigation and aviation, which was one of the PAN’s achievements in the last OE, is currently financing intermodal passes or the social tariff for energy extended to more than 100,000 families is an example, but we have to go further.
We currently have the “Housing First” program to fight poverty and remove homeless people from the streets, and we have half of its implementation. It has only covered 398 people so far and what was promised was to take 600 people off the street, there has to be an ambitious goal here, because we know that the numbers have already increased.
And also, in terms of animal protection, the Government has fallen far short, orders have not yet been issued for the 10 million euros for the official collection centers and for the national sterilization campaign.
We also hope to close by the end of the legislative session some measures that were also agreed with the Government in the OE negotiations, such as food waste.
The Constitutional Court confirmed the Government in relation to the social support that the Parliament approved. Are you afraid that from now on the brake law will be an obstacle to the opposition’s proposals?
We cannot but regret that the Government has sent these measures approved by Parliament for successive review of constitutionality, because there is absolutely no doubt that these social support were essential to avoid having an even greater hecatomb from the socio-economic point of view.
Today we recognize the goodness and the most elementary justice of these measures and the Government here wanted to arm an arm with Parliament, in our misunderstanding, because, in fact, the brake law should not override what are fundamental rights, namely, combating poverty in a context as complex as the state of emergency.
There must be flexibility here and there are ways to correct this need from a budgetary point of view, namely through amending budgets. If we did it last year, instead of being sent to successive inspections, the government should have brought an Amending Budget if it thought that there was a financial impact here that could call into question constitutional issues.
No closing speech ofthe congress, in June, declared that the PAN is running for government. What, do you want to be prime minister or be part of a PS or PSD government?
The PAN, like any political force, competes to be Government. We must be aware of the responsibility we have from the point of view of what is the political party chessboard. The PAN, like other environmentalist forces in Europe, is a party that is growing, we have been consolidating in the country’s internal political life, both at the level of local authorities and regional assemblies, now more recently with the election of a deputy to the Azores Regional Assembly.
We have gone from being a deputy to a parliamentary group in the Assembly of the Republic and, being aware of what the growth of green forces is not only in Europe, but also in our country, we have to be prepared so that, from today to tomorrow, the Portuguese decide to give it to us. a vote of confidence and we have the responsibility to be government, we will do so.
There are many challenges ahead from a democratic point of view, whether because of the growth of populist forces, or because any party must be prepared if the Portuguese give us that vote of confidence.
Is it indifferent to having an understanding of the PAN with the PSD or with the PS?
It depends on the PSD and the PS that, in due course, exists. We cannot forget that the “Central Bloc” has had a counter-cycle in relation to democracy itself and has been dealing very badly with the emergence of small parties and new political forces.
PAN has already made it clear what its red lines are. We will not be available to negotiate, for example, with undemocratic political forces such as Chega, which have no respect for democracy and the most basic fundamental rights. On the left we also have far-left parties with which we also do not identify. Only the parliamentary dynamics in the future will be able to tell what the PAN’s position will be in relation to being able or not to be part of a Government. What we are aware of is that the time will come for the PAN to be called to be Government and we have to be prepared for when that happens.
Do you believe that the PAN can be strengthened in the next legislative elections? What is the bar? One more, two deputies?
We will work not only to maintain but to increase our parliamentary representation. We must not forget that we are competing with other political forces, there is greater plurality from a democratic point of view, there are different political forces in our parliamentary panorama and the conditions under which we are competing are not the same as when we started this mandate.
Despite this reality, we are fully aware that people are increasingly looking for different answers. Not only from this left-right dichotomy, but also from the old way of doing politics, with which they have not been identified. There is a great distancing of people from political life, there is great discredit in political life and that is why the PAN has always presented itself as a differentiating political force.
How do you foresee the rest of the legislature, after the municipal ones?
We are not in any context, the next few years will be fundamental to ensure that in the next decade the country recovers from what was the loss of income, but also that we make the transition from the climate crisis, we are nine years away from the point of no return.
As we are not just any legislature, we are aware that all political forces, without exception, must have a common objective, which is to work to provide the answers that the country needs at this time. What we don’t need is – and it would be easy to get into a populist discourse of making opposition for mere opposition – to add political crises to the socio-economic crisis. It would be a profound irresponsibility on the part of all of us.
This does not mean that the Government has a free hand to do what it wants, on the contrary, it has a high responsibility to listen to the other opposition forces. Issues such as those that have already happened in this legislature of gross violations of human rights such as that of Ukrainian citizen Ihor Homeniuk, who is a stain on what human rights are in Portugal, or the “Russiagate”, in which political consequences have to be drawn , are at odds with human rights.
Source: Renascença – Noticias by rr.sapo.pt.
*The article has been translated based on the content of Renascença – Noticias by rr.sapo.pt. If there is any problem regarding the content, copyright, please leave a report below the article. We will try to process as quickly as possible to protect the rights of the author. Thank you very much!
*We just want readers to access information more quickly and easily with other multilingual content, instead of information only available in a certain language.
*We always respect the copyright of the content of the author and always include the original link of the source article.If the author disagrees, just leave the report below the article, the article will be edited or deleted at the request of the author. Thanks very much! Best regards!