USA TODAY US Edition
Portugal’s PM resigns after plan nixed
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.