In response to IL deputy Bernardo Blanco in the parliamentary debate on the state of the European Union (EU), the Secretary of State for European Affairs, Tiago Antunes, rejected that the letter sent to the European Commission was a “request for help”.
“Portugal did not make a request for help to the European Commission, Portugal sent a letter with suggestions for priorities that we believe should be European priorities,” he said.
The government official also wanted to clarify “a second misunderstanding” on this matter, referring to criticism that the Government was trying to “alleviate responsibilities and throw the resolution of this problem to the EU” by sending the letter.
“Any reasonably attentive viewer has seen that the Government is acting on housing issues and there has been a broad debate in Portuguese society regarding the measures that the Government has adopted: some agree, others don't, (…) now there is no shortage of measures”, he said .
Tiago Antunes gave the example of the measures approved by the Council of Ministers, describing them as “very relevant to help the Portuguese face the increased costs of housing”.
“There is no shortage of Government measures in this area. It is an essentially national area in which the Government is acting, but, as it is something that is transversal to all European countries, it makes sense for the European Commission to study and propose initiatives in this area”, he stressed.