Populist party Chega attacks the banks
The leader of Portugal’s populist far-right party Chega, André Ventura, criticised Portugal’s banks at the closure of the 6th Chega National Congress last week.
“Isn’t it high time for the banks to make a sacrifice and help the Portuguese?” he asked in his closing speech, calling on the Portuguese to choose “a departure from the past that the country and its citizens are asking for” and accused the “friends of deep-rooted interests of not having the courage to say ‘yes’ to this proposal.
“This party and thousands who believe in us will not give up until we give this republic a bath of ethics and a struggle against rooted interests”, he said.
“It is painful and irresponsible to hear our new general-secretary of the PS party (Pedro Nuno Santos) say that he will sort out the housing problem”, added the leader of Chega, arguing that the “public housing stock was badly built and in a bad condition”.
And asked why the government hadn’t sorted out the problems over the past eight years? Ventura suggested that the “excessive profits that the banks had been making should finance affordable mortgages rather than the tax payers”.
Portugal’s banks raked in profits of €3.3Bn in 2023 and mostly paid off their massive losses which put them in a perilous situation a decade ago. Between 2008 and 2012, losses of Portuguese banks exceeded €14.8Bn and around €9.4Bn between 2012 and 2018. Since then the banks paid their debts, offloaded most of their Non-Performing Loans and built up a comfortable cash cushion to offset potential future shocks, while increasing cash reserves and margins.
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