News / Europe

Portugal's PM Claims to Find a 'Formula' for Government Survival

Portugal's Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho addresses a news conference in Berlin, July 3, 2013.
Portugal's Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho addresses a news conference in Berlin, July 3, 2013.
Selah Hennessy

Portugal's prime minister says he has negotiated with his coalition partners to keep his government intact despite two top resignations this week. The government has been on the brink of collapse after struggling to fulfill tough bailout conditions.

After holding crisis talks with Portugal’s President, Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho said he had found a "formula" that will hold his government together.

"I will do everything to guarantee the necessary solutions that will enable the government to work towards fulfilling its economic and financial program," said Coelho.

The details of the agreement were not made public.

The future of Coelho’s government was in question this week after two top ministers stepped down.

The resignations were tied to Portugal’s austerity drive, but Coelho says his government must push ahead to cut spending.

"It guarantees Portugal will be able to borrow money in the future. All the sacrifices and efforts of the Portuguese people, he said, will be rewarded by the consistent and solid results that they are achieving," he said.

Two years ago, Portugal received an international bailout worth about $100 billion - on condition that the country carries out stringent austerity measures.


Its international lenders are due in Portugal later this month to assess the country’s progress and will be expecting the government to present yet more spending cuts.
 

Up until now, the government has been pursuing austerity robustly - some have described the country as a "poster child" for the Europe-wide austerity drive. But the measures have dwindling public support.


The country is in its worst economic slump since the 1970s and unemployment stands at 18 percent.

Christian Schweiger is a Europe expert at Durham University. He says Coelho may be able to hold his government together for now, but the underlying problems are not about to go away.


He says the unemployment problem in Portugal and other euro countries is a growing headache for governments.

"We have obviously the wider problem of spiraling unemployment in the eurozone. Youth unemployment [is] between 40 and 60 percent in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy - there seems to be a whole lost generation coming up in southern Europe," said Schweiger.

Youth unemployment in Portugal is 43 percent. Schweiger says with growing discontent linked to poverty, European governments may increasingly find themselves in the position that Coelho is in today - torn between its voting public and its international lenders.

"If more and more young people across the eurozone and across the EU as a whole find that there is no future for them, and that politicians cannot offer them any solutions in terms of getting them into a career, making sure that they can make ends meet to a certain degree - then of course we will see mass demonstrations and they could be as bad as we currently see in the Middle East," he said.

This week’s political turmoil in Portugal caused markets to plunge on Wednesday - but they rallied after Coelho gave assurances of the government’s stability.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs