Elections: Parties react to statements by Passos Coelho in the Algarve on immigration

Reactions marked the third day of the electoral campaign, with strong criticism from the left

The parties' reactions to the statements made by former prime minister and former PSD president Pedro Passos Coelho, particularly on immigration, marked the third day of the electoral campaign, with strong criticism from the left.

Former prime minister and former PSD president Pedro Passos Coelho 'warmed up' the second day of the campaign but the speech he gave at a Democratic Alliance (AD) rally in Faro, and his statements, in which he associated immigration with insecurity, still echoed on the third day of the road towards the legislative elections on March 10th.

In Elvas, the president of the PSD, Luís Montenegro, considered that situations of non-integrated immigration, in unstable and less than dignified conditions, create a feeling of insecurity that must be combatted, defending more regulation and integration.

“Regulation is needed and this needs to be expressed in a more effective integration policy, in order not to create areas of insecurity, areas where populations are more exposed to situations, in short, that give them a feeling of insecurity that we must overcome. ”, he defended, when asked about Passos Coelho’s words.

The general secretary of the PS, Pedro Nuno Santos, in the Azores, criticized the former PSD prime minister, considering that Pedro Passos Coelho and Luís Montenegro are “two sides of the same coin”.

The socialist was confident that his candidacy was “managing to mobilize the country” and rejected “returning to the past that was governed by a party that told the Portuguese one thing and practiced another”.

In Beja, the BE coordinator, Mariana Mortágua, considered the association between immigration and insecurity made by Passos Coelho to be “utter nonsense”, arguing that this idea is a “lie contradicted by all the facts”.

The IL leader, Rui Rocha, was also in the same district, who refused to comment on Passos Coelho's concrete words, limiting himself to defending immigration with dignity and rights.

The liberal's criticisms were directed at the PS, with Rocha pointing to the “terrible decision” of the resigning executive in abolishing the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) under the terms in which he did so.

Chega's president, André Ventura, who on Monday night had already considered that the former prime minister showed the PSD leader the speech that Montenegro should make since he leads the party, today promised the “largest increase in pensions” if it is the Government, after a riot in Braga.

Both Inês Sousa Real (PAN) and Rui Tavares (Livre) left harsh criticisms of Pedro Passos Coelho's words on immigration.

In Matosinhos, the Livre leader defended that the statements in question denote “a very great ignorance regarding the data and facts on the ground”, considering this statement “inexcusable for a former prime minister”.

The PAN spokesperson, in Beja, stated that Passos Coelho's entry into the Democratic Alliance (AD) campaign brings this coalition closer to the Chega party's agenda and recalled the impact of their governments.

The general secretary of the PCP, Paulo Raimundo, who walked through the district of Setúbal, demanded a reduction in the value of the intermodal pass from 40 to 20 euros, with a view to making transport free in the future and came out in defense of public administration workers, considering that the solution to these professionals’ problems does not come from the PS or the right.