The FAES Foundation chaired by José María Aznar contrasts the “success” of management in the Portuguese Government coronavirus crisis chaired by the socialist António Costa, who has acted with “foresight”, “clear information and unity”, compared to the actions of the Executive of Pedro Sánchez, who, in his opinion, “did not know how to apply” the “Portuguese recipe”. He also stresses that what is “different from Portugal in this crisis is not the attitude of the right but the attitude of the left.”
In an analysis for FAES of Ángel Rivero, professor of Political Science at the Autonomous University of Madrid, the author highlights that Portugal has registered just over 20,000 infections and 928 deaths compared to 23,822 deaths in Spain and more than 200,000 positive for Covid- 19.
“Since the two countries are located in the same geographical context of the Iberian peninsula, the abysmal difference in the victims of this tragedy in the two countries is striking. Portugal today has just over 10 million inhabitants and Spain has slightly more than 46 million, and yet, even if we multiplied the number of Portuguese victims by four or by five, the difference would still be abysmal, “he warns.
Under the title ‘Miracle or good management? Portugal and the Covid-19 pandemic, the author acknowledges that, in light of the facts, one must “recognize the success of the Government of António Costa, the socialist prime minister, in managing the health crisis.”
The analysis indicates that Portugal has one of the best public health systems in the world, the SNS (Serviço Nacional de Saúde), which would be in the world ranking in the top fifteen. But Spain, he continues, “has a system unanimously valued as far superior, among the top five.” “The Portuguese system is centralized and directed from the Ministério da Saúde, it is generally free and universal. Spanish, for its part, is decentralized, it is free and universal,” he points out.
Regarding health spending, he assures that public spending on health in Portugal “is the lowest in the EU after Greece” and adds that in relation to GDP, this expenditure was 5.99 in 2017 compared to 6.26% in Spain. “That is, public spending on health is clearly lower than that of Spain. In fact, the Portuguese private health sector is the second largest in Europe after Greece,” he warns.
ASK TO FIND THE DIFFERENCE IN POLITICAL MANAGEMENT
For this reason, this FAES analysis stresses that the difference can be explained by “the different political management of the pandemic.” “Contrary to what we want to suggest in Spain, what is different from Portugal in this crisis is not the attitude of the right but the attitude of the left,” he indicates.
Thus, he relates that in Portugal, the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, of the main right-wing party, the PSD, “has gone hand in hand with Prime Minister Costa del PS, acting as if there was a concerted government, when there is but one monocolor government of the PS “. As he underlines, this has been possible because both parties form a central constitutional block that “has always united in times of difficulty to protect Portuguese democracy.”
“There has never been in the democratic history of Portugal a PS government with the undemocratic left. This trust forges a unity of action that has allowed Portugal to take drastic measures very soon, because the Government is not engaged in cultural wars, nor to vilify the opposition, but rather behaves loyally towards parties committed to democracy, “he says, adding that in Portugal a government like that of Spain is” unimaginable “because” he already learned in 1974-75 what happens when invites radicals to enter the government. “
INFORMATION TO PEOPLE
In addition, it highlights that, unlike what happened in Spain, since the beginning of March there were disinfectant dispensers at the doors of the buildings, signs with self-protection measures “big and clear everywhere” and “people had been informed” .
FAES states that when Costa declared a state of emergency on March 18, he explained that many months of difficulties would pass, without “ideology, manipulation, or false promises.” “Portugal was confined and in this way a greater tragedy was conjured. Forecast, reasonable and moderate government, institutional respect, clear information and unity among the Democrats is the Portuguese recipe that Spain did not know how to apply,” he concludes.