Europe 'owes Portugal apology' - Alexander Stubb
03 November 2018
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Europe owes an apology to Portugal and should congratulate the country for the âtremendousâ austerity measures it implemented during the financial crisis, former Finnish prime minister and candidate to lead the centre-right in European Parliament elections, Alexander Stubb, told Lusa News Agency in interview in Lisbon.
âI think that, in many ways, Europe owes Portugal an apology and appreciation, since the austerity measures the centre-right government took during the crisis were tremendous,â he said.
Stubb added that "there was no alternative" to the controversial measures the Portuguese government took, which included slashing public sector pay and pensions in return for a â¬78 billion bailout package from international lenders.
âIf I had to do the same in Finland, as prime minister or minister of finance, I would have to go ahead,â he said. âThatâs how it is.â
He said Portugal's PSD-CDS centre-right coalition had done a âgreat job in a difficult situation,â and had shown âa lot of courage.â He also claimed that since the minority Socialist had come into power, he âhasnât seen much action.â
Stubb, who was interviewed on the sidelines of an initiative organised by Portugalâs Social Democrat Party (PSD) and Spainâs Popular Party, also said he thought German Chancellor Angela Merkel had been a âreference of stability in Europeâ and âespecially during the post-Trump and post-Brexit period.â
03 November 2018
Read this week's iss ue online exactly as it appears in print.
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