Portugal's PM quits amid debt crisis

2011-03-24 08:05

Lisbon - Portugal's prime minister has quit after opposition parties overwhelmingly rejected his last-ditch round of austerity measures aimed at preventing the eurozone's weakest economy from plunging into chaos. The move turned the debt-plagued nation into the prime candidate for the continent's next bailout package.

All opposition parties united to defeat Prime Minister Jose Socrates' proposals in a parliamentary vote, saying the belt-tightening went too far on the eve of a summit of European leaders.

But their decision means that Portugal is much more likely to be forced to seek a bailout like those accepted by Greece and Ireland last year, and puts Spain squarely into the crosshairs of nervous investors concerned about which European nation might be next.

Socrates followed through on Wednesday on a pledge that he would resign if the measures were not approved, saying the opposition parties "took away the government's ability to continue running the country".

"As a consequence, I have tendered my resignation," Socrates said in an announcement carried live on television.

In keeping with Portugal's constitution, Socrates formally submitted his resignation to Portugal's president, a ceremonial figurehead who has no executive powers. The prime minister's resignation ended the centre-left Socialist government's six-year period in power.

Socrates' latest austerity package was its fourth set of measures introduced over 11 months as Portugal scrambled to avoid the embarrassment and financial consequences of asking for outside help to prop up its shaky economy. The nation has already introduced tax hikes and pay cuts that have angered trade unions and prompted a wave of successive street demonstrations and strikes.

Read more on:    portugal

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/Food
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Your ruling planet Saturn has finished its retrograde journey and is starting to move direct again. This signifies a positive...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.