Another view on Portugal

Some blog posts you read can totally change your perspetive on an issue and make you see things from a totally different angle and this is from Jon Worth is one of them and I wanted to bring it to your attention.

Eurozone crosses Rubicon as Portugal’s anti-euro Left banned from power” screamed Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in The Daily Telegraph on Friday last week. The Telegraph even followed up with a piece about why Portugal’s situation was a threat to everyone else. Everyone from Daniel Hannan to Owen Jones jumped on it, and even some sensible folks like Jamie Bartlett and Glyn Moody tweeted about the Evans-Pritchard piece.

The only problem was it wasn’t actually the Eurozone or the EU behaving badly at all. They’d not said anything. Ok, Portuguese President Aníbal Cavaco Silva’s words were unwise, but as Chris Hanretty pointed out in an excellent rebuttal, he was asking the largest political party to try to form a government, and that’s his call as the President.

I’m no specialist in the workings of Portuguese politics, but I know and trust some folks online who are – people like Rui Tavares and Filipe S Henriques, and neither of them vote right. So what did they say?

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What they said also seems to actually be happening – it looks like Pedro Passos Coelho, the nominated Prime Minister, will not be able to put together a government that will pass a confidence vote, and hence the left will try instead. Which is exactly as it should work. This might not be a recipe for strong and effective government (as João Da Costa also points out) , but it for sure is not a coup.

You can read the full blog on his website.

Worth’s piece is an excellent read and for those of us who jumped the gun on the issue, it is a worthy reminder to look beneath the surface of any parliamentary deadlock.


  • Kevin Breslin

    Shame on them, elected politicians undermining the elected chamber … don’t they know it’s the job of unelected politicians to do that!

  • David

    Some blog posts you read can totally change your perspetive on an issue…

    Or you could just read the comments below the fold on your first, inaccurate, take on the story – “Portugal’s Constitutional Crisis: Is the EU now politically bankrupt?”.

    If you’re going to do a mea culpa, you should really point out what you’re apologising for.

  • David McCann

    Yes but Worth does it without the condescension Pete so I just went with his much better analysis.

    Plus see the two lines at the bottom of the post.

  • Btw, you managed to miss someone out over your two attempts at this story – Events in Portugal expose anti-democratic nature of EU – Adams

  • David McCann

    Only saw that in the evening I put my post. What brought the issue to my attention the Tim Mongomerie piece in The Times.

  • Américo Gonçalves

    Better late than ever, i guess . But even in Worth’s piece, well-meaning people tried to explain the real situation. Myself included. It’s unprecedented, confusing even for OUR OWN pundits, so i’ll refrain from judgement, but just in case, i’ll keep an eye out, in the coming weeks on what gets posted here, and try to clirify any misunderstandings that may appear. Next Friday the Right-wing Gov will be sworn in. The Cabinet is so weak, the unanimous comment, even from right-wing pundits, was “a Cabinet ready to be toppled”. Roughly in 12-13 November, we will have the ok corral showdown, when the Gov has to presente it’s program, which will be met by a vote of no-confidence, that will carry the majority, effectively pulling the plug. And then the ball goes back to the President, which can , A : appoint the next party in line; B: keep the same Gov, on “life-support”, a “House of Cards” scenario ; C appoint someone from outside Parliament, in which case, would certainly be destroyed as soon as it showed up in the House. Hope this helps you guys !

  • Américo Gonçalves

    Turns out, the showdown is due to 9 and 10 November. The united Left has already shot down the timetable the Right wanted to impose. So November 10, there will be a vote of no-confidence.

  • Kevin Breslin

    He played you and Adams for fools. I’m glad we have a horse’s mouth view from Américo Gonçalves here.

  • Nicholas Whyte

    David, I hate to be blunt but your first piece was hugely inaccurate, and I don’t see you admitting that anywhere except in the above comment. At the very least, a note at the end of the previous piece saying “see update” and linking to this post would be appropriate!

  • At the very least, Nicholas.

    What’s more necessary is a link from this post to the previous hugely inaccurate ‘analysis’.

    That might “totally change [my] perspective” on this issue…