Friday 20 October 2017

Portugal's government ousted amid austerity backlash

Portugal's now-ousted prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho reacts during a debate of the government's policy programme at the parliament in Lisbon (AP)
Portugal's now-ousted prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho reacts during a debate of the government's policy programme at the parliament in Lisbon (AP)

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

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.

Press Association

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