“This is a time when the State must get deeper into debt to resolve the situation”

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Miguel Nogueira

Rui Moreira, Mayor of Porto was a guest speaker at a national television show to discuss the pandemic context of the country. The Mayor advocated that the Government has to further its support to companies and families, to boost recovery and to build a stronger economy for the future, as soon as the health crisis is over.

Rui Moreira was one of the guest speakers of the show “É ou não é?”, hosted by journalist Carlos Daniel, which airs every Tuesday nights. The focus of the show was “What Xmas will we have?”

The Mayor asserts that Xmas will not be like previous years, but hopes that this festive occasion can be spent with each and every one’s families. “The worst of Christmas will be to the people who have lost loved ones. Regardless of religious beliefs, Xmas is a family celebration. And I draw attention to the children, not just to the older ones. Children have had a terrible year; so, it would be very important that we would be able to spend Xmas, in spite all things, with our family.”

The show also welcomed the Minister of the Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva, and former Minister, the economist António Bagão Félix, Epidemiology professor of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, Manuel Carmo Gomes, and entrepreneur Ana Maria Vasconcelos.

Rui Moreira also stated that only after the pandemic is over, can one think of recovering the economy.

“Until we solve the health crisis, it is not possible to think that the economy will take off again. The pandemic has affected the economy on both sides: supply and clearly demand”, the Mayor of Porto affirmed, urging the Government to strongly support families and companies.

“This is a time when the State must get deeper into debt to resolve the situation. For an anti-cyclical reason. We need companies to be provided for and that there are workers as well”, added Rui Moreira, stating that he understands criticism that the Government might not be providing enough support or that it is not being swift in providing answers.

“Business people are desperate because they see the scale amount of debt and they know they will not be able to save all work posts.”

To the question why is Porto, specifically the Northern region to present the higher risk of the virus being transmitted to others, Rui Moreira recalled that the main reason is that “this is a heavily industrialised region. Cities around Porto cannot resort to teleworking”, he mentioned, while comparing the North of Portugal with the North of Italy, which share the same problem.

Rui Moreira criticised some of the measures by the Government, namely the prohibition of movement between districts and mandatory curfew starting at 1pm on weekends, and even the operating schedules in place: “What we must try to do is to decrease the concentration of people in closed spaces”, the Mayor affirmed.

The musician Pedro Abrunhosa and Friar Fernando Ventura Santos participated in the TV show via videoconference.

Mayor Rui Moreira also highlighted that culture plays an important role during the pandemic: “It’s times like these that we need culture the most”. This view is shared by Pedro Abrunhosa that considers culture as playing a “redemptive role”.

“The city of Porto has kept theatres, libraries and museums open, with the necessary preventive health measures in place. As I see it, things have gone well and there are audiences, even for Saturday morning’s shows.”

Rui Moreira enhanced, also, that there has to be a thorough work by the Government to provide support to all workers linked to the sector, many of them temporary workers.