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June 05, 2011

Portugal's Victorious Center-Right to Push Austerity

Portugal's expected new prime minister and Social Democratic Party leader Pedro Passos Coelho has pledged to move forward with tough austerity measures necessary to restore the country's economic credibility.

Passos Coelho said Monday he will form a coalition government with the conservative Popular Party, giving their bloc a majority in parliament and making it easier to pass legislation aimed at pulling the country away from the edge of bankruptcy.

The center-right leader and former businessman has said he is committed to meeting the terms of the $114 billion bailout set by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Passos Coelho has vowed to "go beyond" the bailout demands, and has said he will push to privatize some Portuguese state industries and cut back on large-scale infrastructure projects.

The Social Democrats on Sunday won a comfortable victory in the troubled country's parliamentary elections, ousting the ruling Socialists. Prime Minister Jose Socrates admitted electoral defeat and has said he will resign as his party's leader.

Portugal is one of three Eurozone countries being bailed out. The other two are Greece and Ireland.