Wednesday 28 September 2016

Portugal's government ousted amid austerity backlash

Published 10/11/2015 | 19:32

Portugal's Socialist party (PS) leader Antonio Costa (C) is congratulated after his speech during a debate on government programmes at the parliament in Lisbon, Portugal. Reuters/Rafael Marchante
Portugal's Socialist party (PS) leader Antonio Costa (C) is congratulated after his speech during a debate on government programmes at the parliament in Lisbon, Portugal. Reuters/Rafael Marchante

Anti-austerity MPs have forced Portugal's new centre-right government to resign by rejecting its policy proposals.

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The showdown comes less than two weeks after the government was sworn in.

The moderate Socialist Party forged an unprecedented alliance with the Communist Party and the radical Left Bloc to get a majority in the 230-seat parliament and vote down the proposals on Tuesday.

After four years in power, the government lost its parliamentary majority in a general election on October 4, which reflected a public backlash against austerity measures adopted following a 78 billion euro (£55 billion) bailout in 2011.

Socialist leader Antonio Costa is expected to become prime minister in coming weeks, supported by the Communists and Left Bloc.

The parties have promised to alleviate austerity, though critics fear a return to borrow-and-spend policies.

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