“The truth is that after some hiccups that might have occurred due to the union [Europeia] Pedro Sisa Vieira said at the economic meetings, which took place from Aix-en-Provence in France.
Speaking via video, Pedro Siza Vieira confirmed that progress in vaccination against COVID-19 is due to EU measures.
“If we say that with the vaccination starting now, in the second quarter of this year, we know that this is due to the fact that we have decided to buy en masse,” the official said.
Pedro Siza Vieira noted that the European Commission initially “was subjected to very strong criticism over the way it procures vaccines and for its supposed delay from the UK or the US”.
However, the Minister ended up emphasizing European-level coordination and crisis management in light of past disagreements between member states.
“We did this because we are collectively managing the impact of this crisis on the European Union, with an approach that, I must say, surprised me and I think other observers as well,” he admitted.
Pedro Siza Vieira also highlighted the work of the European Union in terms of financial support and monetary policy of the European Central Bank, suspension of budget rules as well as special rules on state aid.
“We have avoided the worst. Now that we anticipate a way out of the crisis, we have to realize that the European Union has played a very important role in this,” stressed the Portuguese minister.
Regarding the Portuguese economic situation, Pedro Siza Vieira stressed that the negative impact of the downturn accompanying the epidemic “was not as severe as everyone feared.”
“We saw that when we lifted restrictions, companies were able to respond and respond immediately to the increase in demand,” he said.
The minister stressed that “commodity exports were increasing at the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021 compared to what happened in 2019,” and that “investment is still very strong and construction continues.”