In Portugal, the political crisis will have many adverse effects according to a Conservative Minister whose resignation helped bring about the crisis.
SVs AND CUs: interview with Dr. Victor Sa Machado, former Portuguese Foreign Minister. (2 shots)
TRANSCRIPT: POTTINGER: "Dr Sa machado, why did your party choose this moment to leave the six-month old alliance with the Socialists?"
SA MACHADO: "Well, I wouldn't say that we especially chose this moment. It happened that the crisis opened up now after two-to-three months of talks with Socialist on social programs, which is, I say, responsible for the crisis, and this has to see, and to do with a very impulsive government."
POTTINGER: "What are the likely effects of this crisis on Portugal's economy and on its foreign policy, especially in relation to membership of the European Economic Community?"
SA MACHADO: "Yes, it will be unrealistic to say that there won't be any effects, because, in fact, there will be, I am afraid, many effects on the process of joining Europe, and the process of economic recovery.
Because, I think that in what regards Europe, and the economic recovery of the country, this was due mainly to the external stability of this government, and this was due to the formula which put together a big great Left party and a Centre Party."
POTTINGER: "Have the Conservatives been affected electorally since they agreed to the alliance six months ago?"
SA MACHADO: "I don't say we have been affected by the alliance itself, because, I think, that most of us in the Christian Democrat Party would really like that the Party should be in Centre but looking to the Left. So I didn't say the alliance itself was bad for the Party. What was not so good after all, and could affect us in electoral terms, was the variant policy carried out by the government."
Dr. Sa Machado also said he was confident that a satisfactory solution to the crisis could be found. He said it was quite possible the Conservatives would return to the government after new talks with President Antonio Ramalho Eanes.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In Portugal, the political crisis will have many adverse effects according to a Conservative Minister whose resignation helped bring about the crisis. The departing Foreign Minister Dr. Sa Machado said Wednesday (26 July) the withdrawal of Conservative support for the Socialist-led government would hit both Portugal's economic recovery and its chances of joining the European Economic Community. Dr. Sa Machado spoke to Michael Pottinger of Reuter's News Agency.