Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa promised on Saturday to raise the monthly minimum wage by 25% to €750 euros by 2023 while reducing public debt below 100% of GDP.
Costa was reelected on October 6 on the back of a strong economic recovery but his Socialist Party remains reliant on an alliance with the Communists and Left Bloc. In his previous term, the minimum wage increased by 20%. Portugal still has one of the lowest minimum wages in Western Europe, while the country went through a painful program of fiscal consolidation from 2011 to 2014.
The new government program will be debated next week with the budget being the first test of how enduring the left-wing alliance remains. Costa remains committed to reducing Portugal’s deficit from 0,4% in 2019 to 0,1% in 2020 and the public debt from 121,5% of GDP to 119% in 2020. At its peak in 2014, Portugal’s public debt reached 131% of GDP.