- Title: Portugal's PM targets 25% minimum wage rise in his new term
- Date: 26th October 2019
- Summary: LISBON, PORTUGAL (OCTOBER 26, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF INCOMING PORTUGUESE PRIME MINISTER, ANTONIO COSTA, ARRIVING FOR SWEARING-IN CEREMONY / GREETING GUESTS COSTA SEATED COSTA BEING SWORN IN, (UPSOUND) (Portuguese) SAYING: "By signing the below, I solemnly swear that I loyally comply with the functions with which I have been entrusted." INCOMING FINANCE MINISTER MARIO CENTENO BEING SWORN IN, (UPSOUND) (Portuguese) SAYING: "By signing the below, I solemnly swear that I loyally comply with the functions with which I have been entrusted." PHOTOGRAPHERS (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) PORTUGAL PRIME MINISTER, ANTONIO COSTA, SAYING: "The government now outlines its goal of reaching the minimum salary of 750 euros in 2023. This way over the two legislatures the minimum wage increases from 505 to 750 euros, an increase of around 50%, the biggest progress ever in the evolution of the minimum wage in our country and the one that will take us to be in line with the average of the European Union." COSTA ADDRESSING AUDIENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) PORTUGAL PRIME MINISTER, ANTONIO COSTA, SAYING: "Today Portugal needs a new ambition and the Portuguese demand more and better from us. I heard and don't forget what citizens told me during the elections campaign." COSTA ADDRESSING AUDIENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) PORTUGAL PRIME MINISTER, ANTONIO COSTA, SAYING: "This is a government for the good and the bad times, we will of course try to maximise the opportunities to obtain more growth, better jobs and more equality, continuing with balanced public accounts, but we won't turn our backs on difficulties and for bigger adversity, the bigger will be our determination to overcome it." ANTONIO COSTA LEAVING AFTER INAUGURATION SPEECH / SHAKING HANDS WITH PORTUGUESE PRESIDENT MARCELO REBELO DE SOUSA MINISTERS APPLAUDING COSTA HUGGING HIS WIFE COSTA AND MINISTER BEING GREETED BY GUESTS VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF AJUDA PALACE WHERE SWEARING-IN OF NEW GOVERNMENT TOOK PLACE
- Embargoed: 9th November 2019 13:21
- Keywords: Antonio Costa Portugal new government Portuguese government
- Location: LISBON, PORTUGAL
- City: LISBON, PORTUGAL
- Country: Portugal
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001B2QHE87
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Portugal's Prime Minister Antonio Costa promised on Saturday (October 26) to raise the monthly minimum wage by 25% to 750 euros ($830) by 2023 as he started his second term in the office, while reiterating the goal to cut public debt to below 100% of GDP.
Costa's centre-left Socialists, who presided over four years of strong economic growth and budget deficit cuts, won an Oct. 6 election, expanding their parliamentary representation as the biggest party but still just shy of a majority.
Costa has relied on support from the two far-left parties in parliament - the Communists and Left Bloc - in the last four years and the wage plan is likely to be well received by them. Portugal still has one of the lowest minimum wages in western Europe.
Parliament is yet to debate the new government's programme, which is likely to be presented next week. It does not require a compulsory vote, but if parliament decides to vote on it and it is rejected, the government could collapse.
Analysts, however, do not expect any major obstacles for the Socialist government to be allowed to rule.
Next year's budget is likely to prove its first big test, with the far left demanding more public spending, while Costa insists on sticking to strict expenditure controls to achieve a balanced budget next year after an estimated deficit of just 0.1% this year, down from 2018's 0.4%.
Portugal's public debt is expected to end this year at just over 119%, down from 121.5% in 2018 and well below the 2014 peak of nearly 131% hit after Portugal's debt crisis and bailout.
(Production: Miguel Pereira)
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