Portugal’s president approves state budget for 2020

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa approved on Monday the state budget for 2020, according to a statement published on the Presidency website.

The statement came after the president received Minister of State and Finance Mario Centeno for talks on the international and national economic and financial situation in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that the budget, which was first approved in parliament in a final vote on Feb. 6, will be revised as the pandemic progresses.

Rebelo de Sousa is “aware that (the budget’s) application will have to adjust to the new context experienced, but, above all, sensitive to the need for a financial framework that will serve as a basis for the emergency measures that the government has already announced and others that may be required by the economic and social effects caused by the pandemic,” said the statement.

To fight the novel coronavirus outbreak, the president declared a state of emergency on March 18, and the government has adopted exceptional measures.

Centeno said that the budget will take effect from April 1 and will accommodate the measures already adopted, according to the Lusa News Agency.

The possibility of amending the budget “will be evaluated by the government at the appropriate time,” he said, adding that “there is room for adaptation.”

“We will not hesitate, even for a minute, to do so,” said the minister.

Portugal reported 2,060 confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday, 460 more than a day earlier, and 23 deaths, according to a bulletin issued by the Directorate-General for Health.