PS admits “strong possibility” of confinement to last until end of March


José Sena Goulão / Lusa

Upon leaving the meeting with Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, PS admits general confinement until the end of March, PCP says that a state of emergency is not a solution and BE asks for more support for families.

The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, ends today another round of hearings with political parties before sending to parliament the draft decree that renews the state of emergency until 1 March.

After having heard on Tuesday, by videoconference, the Liberal Initiative, Chega, PEV, PAN and CDS-PP, the head of state ends the round of distance hearings with the PCP, BE, PSD and PS, from the Belém Palace.

Speaking to Rádio Renascença’s “Casa Comum” program, the deputy general secretary of the PS, José Luís Carneiro, admitted that there is a “Strong possibility” general confinement is maintained until the end of March.

“Most likely, the confinement will remain. Today we still have an audience with Mr. President of the Republic, I do not want to anticipate this dialogue, but everything suggests that the confinement will continue, at least, until mid-March and with a strong possibility until the end of March, ”said José Luís Carneiro.

However, the socialist warned of the impact of confinement on mental health of people and increasing domestic violence cases. “There is always that, even keeping the confinement at this stage, having the clear notion that excessive confinement has dramatic effects from a social point of view and no less dramatic from an economic point of view”, he stressed.

PCP: State of emergency “is not a solution”

In turn, Jerónimo de Sousa confirmed that the PCP will vote against renewing the state of emergency.

“This state of emergency with the objectives and contents that it comprises nobody believes that it will be the solution for the dramatic problem we are experiencing, ”said the PCP’s secretary-general at the end of the audience with the President of the Republic.

As an example the issue of repercussions on mental health, Jerónimo argues that confinement pays little attention to the economic and social dimension of the pandemic crisis, being very focused on restrictive measures.

“We alerted Mr. President because it may be too late for thousands of entrepreneurs who do not know what to do with their lives and at the same time need to reopen schools as soon as possible, but also cultural and sports activities ”, he added.

BE asks for more social support

At the end of the meeting with the President of the Republic, Catarina Martins, he appealed for a reinforcement of support for families, fearing the effects of prolonged confinement.

“It seems to us unacceptable that the Government is saving on account of the victims of the crisis, even harming the fight against the pandemic,” said the BE coordinator, quoted by the newspaper Expresso.

Catarina Martins believes that the issues of social support and investment in public services at the forefront of the pandemic are more urgent than ever. The blocker says that current support leave many Portuguese out and create “bureaucratic difficulties”.

“Many people who have lost income do not have access to social support or do not have access to support with a minimum of dignity,” he shot, recalling that next week party proposals will be voted in Parliament, namely the extension of the unemployment benefit and 100% salary for parents when they have to stay at home with their children.