The non-approval of the Portuguese state budget for 2022 [OE2022] will require “some consultation” of the European Commission with the Portuguese authorities, in order to determine with certainty how to proceed with the assessment of the budget plan, said Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis.
Asked during a press conference in Brussels on the rejection of OE2022, Wednesday, by the Assembly of the Republic, which paves the way for early legislative elections, the executive vice-president in charge of “An economy at the service of the peoples ”acknowledged that this situation“ raises questions ”, which the Community executive will try to clarify with the Portuguese government.
“We will now have to assess the situation with the Portuguese authorities regarding the draft budget plan for 2022 and decide how to proceed, in the sense that we have to understand with the Portuguese authorities what the outlook is, how soon the next budget can arrive” , said Dombrovskis.
The vice-president assumed that there were now doubts around the assessment of the budget plan that Portugal delivered in mid-October in Brussels, since, given its rejection by the Portuguese parliament, it is necessary to determine “what that there is exactly to assess “, and he underlined the possibility that Brussels and Lisbon hold” discussions based on unchanged political scenarios “, the one to which one resorts when, for some reason, a Member State cannot present their budget plan within the set deadlines.
“For this reason, it will require consultations with the Portuguese authorities in order to find a concrete way forward,” he stressed.
As for the implications of the failure of OE2022 and the scenario of dissolution of parliament and the call for early elections in the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR), in particular given the fragility of a outgoing executive, the executive vice-president of the Commission stressed that “the recovery and resilience mechanism is a performance-based instrument”, and nothing changes this principle.
“From the Commission side, we can be very clear, as it is also clear in the regulation, that disbursements are linked to the achievement of concrete objectives and targets, and this continues to be the case”, a- he declared.
What happened with the budget?
On October 27, parliament failed the state budget for 2022 with votes against the PSD, BE, PCP, CDS-PP, PEV, Chega and IL, paving the way for early parliamentary elections.
The PS was the only party to vote in favor of the draft budget, which deserved the abstentions of the PAN party and the two non-attached deputies, Joacine Katar Moreira and Cristina Rodrigues.
Before the vote, the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, had already warned that faced with a rejection of OE2022, he would start “soon, just after the process” of dissolving parliament and calling early legislative elections.
Hours later, Marcelo met Prime Minister António Costa and Speaker of Parliament Ferro Rodrigues at the Palácio de Belém in Lisbon.
Early legislative elections must take place within 60 days of the dissolution of parliament and must be scheduled at the same time, in accordance with article 113 of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic.
To dissolve the Assembly of the Republic, the president must hear the parliamentary parties, which is happening on Saturday, and the Council of State, which meets on Wednesday.