The secretary general of the PS, António Costa, stressed this Wednesday, that “in the most difficult” and “most demanding” moment the SNS proved to have “response capacity” and criticized “those who, on the right, were saying that the SNS was chaos”.
“Those who, on the right, for years have been campaigning against the National Health Service [SNS], they were saying that the NHS was in chaos, those on the right, in various municipalities, promise to pay free health insurance – as if through insurance companies we had access to health – the truth is that, at the moment, more difficult, more demanding, where it was even necessary to prove whether or not we had responsiveness, who proved to have responsiveness was the NHS”, pointed out António Costa.
The secretary general of the PS was speaking at Teatro Académico Gil Vicente, in Coimbra, in a campaign action for local authorities on the 26th with the current president and head of the party’s list to the local City Council, Manuel Machado.
Taking advantage of his stop in the city, António Costa recalled the founder of the SNS and “great citizen”, António Arnaut, to mention that it was the “values of solidarity” and the idea that “no one can be deprived of access to essential goods” that led Arnaut to create the SNS in 1979.
“If we are here today, we certainly owe it to the excellence, competence, dedication and professionalism of all health professionals, but we owe it to the way they are organized and work in the NHS establishments”, indicated, on the day of the National Health Service, which is marked today.
Bridging the effort of the Portuguese, António Costa said that, during the covid-19 pandemic, the “the answer was in the way each one knew how to help their fellow man” and reinforced that, at a time when the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR) begins to be implemented, it is necessary to continue working together.
Referring to the 2,750 million euros of the PRR for housing, António Costa stressed that the municipalities are the ones in the best position to implement the plan and stressed that the funds in question are not “to be spent by the Government, they are to be made available by the Government to local authorities, so that each local authority can implement its local housing strategy”.
“It is not the Government that differentiates the municipalities, it is the municipalities that differ, because there are those that are committed to responding to the housing needs of their populations and those that, unfortunately, have other priorities”, stated António Costa, in reference to the criticism he has received, namely from the PSD, of being “mixing the role of prime minister with that of secretary general of the PS in the campaign” when talking about the millions of the PRR.
Addressing the specifics of Coimbra, António Costa stressed that it is a “university city par excellence” that has to be on the “front line” of the “great leap in the modernization of the economic fabric” of Portugal.
In the same scope, the PS secretary general defended that the PRR should also seek to “increase the country’s growth potential” through investment in “qualification” and “innovation”, with Coimbra, once again, a natural city to carry out this dimension of the plan.
With regard to plans for the city, António Costa announced the creation of a new maternity hospital in Coimbra, a new mobility system through the Mondego metro and more and greater investments for the university and the local polytechnic.
The leader of the socialists reiterated the call for work “hand in hand”, between the State and local authorities, to be able to fulfill the “enormous responsibility” that the country has in front of it in the coming years.
“We have a huge responsibility to reach 2026 and say Europe, say to ourselves when we look in the mirror, and say to the new generations, ‘We have succeeded and taken this country even further and today we have a more prosperous country, more fair, more dynamic, more modern, which will make the next generations happier generations in their homeland, and Portugal a happier country with the new generations’”, concluded.
In the elections on the 26th, current president Manuel Machado (PS), José Manuel Silva (Coalition Together for Coimbra), Francisco Queirós (CDU), Gouveia Monteiro (Citizens for Coimbra), Filipe Reis (PAN), Inês are running for the Chamber of Coimbra. Talufa (PDR/MPT), Tiago Meireles Ribeiro (Liberal Initiative) and Miguel Ângelo Marques (Enough).
Manuel Machado says the PS project for Coimbra is the only credible one
The current mayor of Coimbra and candidate for the third consecutive term said today that the PS is the only party that presents a “credible, cohesive and structured” project for the elections on the 26th.
“We are here heart and soul to continue to value Coimbra, which is our purpose”, emphasized the socialist Manuel Machado, at a rally at the Teatro Académico Gil Vicente.
The candidate, who has presided over that municipality between 1990 and 2001, highlighted the economic, social and cultural value of the municipality since 2013, also emphasizing quality of life, employment, health, social action and the fight against poverty.
The socialist also listed the improvement of public spaces, the recovery of streets, squares, green areas, bicycle paths and pedestrian paths, the Mondego mobility system, the strengthening of public transport and the “fantastic candidacy” for the European Capital of Culture of 2027.
Manuel Machado also highlighted the increase in employment and the number of companies in the municipality and the fact that, as of 2013, “and according to the National Institute of Statistics”, the declared gross income of the inhabitants of Coimbra has not stopped growing until 2019 .
“Even with the slowdown caused by the pandemic [da covid-19], the structural trend achieved by the management of the Chamber managed by the PS was the sustained increase in the income of citizens throughout the municipality”, he stressed.
The socialist candidate also mentioned that the “average number of unemployed people enrolled in the IEFP decreased gradually and systematically, only increasing with the pandemic and even so the value of 2020 is around 2018, which indicates that the problems of unemployment are being alleviated structure in Coimbra”.
“Coimbra and its county today have some of the best national indicators in multiple chapters and even yesterday [terça-feira] a ‘ranking’ was published which places us as the third best city to live in Portugal”, he maintained.