Portugal’s Deficit Plans

The Portuguese government has announced plans to reduce its fiscal deficit. The aim is to cut the deficit from an expected 6.2 % of GDP this year to below 3% – the theoretical maximum ceiling permitted under the EU’s growth and stability pact – by 2008. Most of the savings will come by addressing the cost of public sector workers – of whom there are some 700,000 in Portugal (total population a little over 10 million). Promotions are to be frozen, salaries pegged to a 2% rise, and retirement ages raised from 60 to 65. All this is provoking a storm of threatened protests, so I guess the proof of the pudding will be in the eating.

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".