The Left Bloc’s Catarina Martins has started to link Portugal's left-of-centre parties together and said today “there are possibilities of convergence between the Socialist Party, the Left Bloc and the Communist Party of Portugal."
"Negotiations are well underway," said Martins, after meeting with the Communist Party leaders today, adding that "Portugal is able to have a different government" and that "Passos Coelho and Paulo Portas will not form a government."
The leader of the Left Bloc said she is determined to find a permanent solution to the current political impasse so the country gets some leadership, rather than the hung parliament that currently is on the cards as the ruling coalition won too few seats in the October 4th election to be able to govern with a majority.
Speaking to journalists today, Catarina Martins reiterated that her party "will enable a Socialist Party government."
"Negotiations are well underway, this time it is possible to reach agreements with the Socialist Party on wages, employment and pensions."
The Chief Executive of Lloyds Bank, António Horta-Osorio today called for stability and a government that sees the coalition parties join up with the Socialist Party, a scenario rejected by all of those involved.
Horta-Osório is apprehensive of a ‘far left’ government and called for some grown up statesmanship from the Portuguese political figures actors while deciding the next government.
The banker admits that his reservations about a leftist government concern the progress made in the last four years, "It seems to me that the country is improving, going in the right direction, the country voted clearly for the continuation of the policies that were being followed."
As for political stability in the next legislature, the banker said that the coalition and the Socialist Party won 70% of the votes in the election, "an overwhelming majority" which can bring the desired stability if only they could link up, which they do not want to do.
Whatever the deals and alliances forged this week and over the weekend, next Tuesday and Wednesday will see party leaders lay out their policies and ideas in front of the President of the Republic who then must choose who is to form Portugal's next government.
This has been banged on about endlessly by citizens from mature democracies. The only connection with ours is the labels. There is absolutely no sustained history of left wing politics or protest in Portugal. The owner / managers made sure of that over the generations. As they still do and, as one of them, no doubt Horta-Osorio was chuckling to himself when saying it.
Anyone so much as squeaking ideas to the left of Attila the Hun was swiftly bundled up into the arms of the Portuguese Secret Police. And, along with their family - disappeared. As in Spain the kids handed to Catholic orphanages. So over time ever fewer did speak out with Lefty opinions.
And the fear is still palpable today.