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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid