Before the Prime Minister, the President of the Republic set aside direct pressure on the execution of the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR) and highlighted the session to take stock of the RRP as an example of “institutional and strategic solidarity”. António Costa, in turn, did not fail to remember that there are “vicissitudes” that condition the implementation of the PRR, such as the law on professional orders that is being considered by the Constitutional Court at the request of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
In the presentation of the situation on the PRR, this Wednesday afternoon, in the former royal arena, in Belém, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa left a message of unity – “we are all together” – around the implementation of European funds. After having already pointed out that 2023 was a decisive year for the implementation of the PRR and that this objective is itself fundamental for the Government, the President considered that this Wednesday’s session “is an example of institutional and strategic solidarity”.
“Institutional solidarity implies cooperation based on certain objectives, which are national objectives in institutional terms, strategic because here we go further. The idea is that the strategy embodied in the PRR and everything that involves it has a national success”, maintained Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa in a short statement at the beginning of the session in which there were elements of the civil office of the Presidency of the Republic.
Sitting in the front row, the President later heard the Prime Minister assume that there are constraints in meeting the targets. “How do you measure compliance with the PRR? For the achievement of goals. Are they subject to vicissitudes? They sure are. The war and inflation”, he said, referring, for example, that the conflict between Ukraine and Russia made building materials more expensive.
Other “vicissitudes” are legislative and are “proper of a democratic society”, recognized António Costa, pointing to the law of professional orders, which is “vital to free the economy from the constraints” that those institutions entail. The diploma was questioned by the President of the Republic, who made a request for preventive inspection to the Constitutional Court, which has not yet ruled.
The Prime Minister also admitted the possibility that the State would resort to a greater component of loans within the scope of the PRR because of inflation. “Depending on the evolution of inflation, it is very likely that we will resort to funds not yet used from the PRR, to allow us to cover the costs, namely with the IPSS (private institutions of social solidarity) or the municipalities, which are trying to hire today the a price higher than that which was initially foreseen”, he said.
After having done the “framing” of the PRR (the origin of the birth and the way it is executed), the detailed presentation of the execution of the funds was in charge of the Minister of the Presidency. For half an hour, Mariana Vieira da Silva exposed a Power point with numbers and graphs, ensuring that “Portugal has been in the leading group with two stages already completed”, which has already allowed it to receive two tranches.
Without any intervention by the president of the national monitoring commission of the PRR, Pedro Dominguinhos, in the part open to journalists, the second half of the session with the questions from the advisors of the civil house – which the President himself admitted also including – was closed to the media. It is already certain that the President and the Prime Minister will travel together, at the invitation of António Costa, for field visits on how the PRR is applied, after the Carnival period.