USA TODAY US Edition

Portugal’s PM resigns after plan nixed

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Portugal’s prime minister quit Wednesday after opposition parties rejected his latest austerity measures devised to avoid a bailout that looks increasing­ly likely.

All opposition parties united to defeat Prime Minister José Sócrates’ proposals in a parliament­ary vote, saying the belt-tightening went too far.

“The opposition (parties) took away the government’s ability to continue running the country. As a consequenc­e, I have tendered my resignatio­n to the president,” Sócrates said on television.

Sócrates said his government had done all it could to avert a bailout “so wewouldn’t end up in a situation like Greece or Ireland” where fiscal measures imposed by the bailout terms have squeezed the finances of families and companies.

A bailout would be “deeply negative for the image, prestige and reputation of the country,” Sócrates said.

President Aníbal Cavaco Silva said in a statement he will meet with all political parties on Friday to decide the way forward.

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