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

Sambisa Forest Stands Between Nigeria, Victory Over Boko Haram

Military takes back nearly all towns, villages in northeast, except for massive expanse of forest that spreads thousands of square kilometers over several states More

Islamic State Recruiting Stokes Fears for Parents in Georgia

Chechens are a notable part of Islamic State's gains in Syria and Iraq, and analysts fear what might happen if those fighters return to the Caucasus More

Yarmouk Camp Becomes Distant Memory for Palestinian Diaspora

Once thriving capital of Palestinian diaspora, after siege by Syrian government forces and Islamic State group, camp becomes 'deepest circle of hell' 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.
Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'i
X
Sharon Behn
April 21, 2015 9:18 PM
A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten. Sharon Behn reports on the politics of the word genocide on the 100th anniversary of the events.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video German Program Helps Migrants Overcome Traumatic Experience at Sea

Migrants fleeing poverty and violence in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia risk life and limb to reach safety in Europe. Those who have made it to European shores are traumatized by the experience. A program in Germany helps survivors overcome the trauma by giving a new perspective to their catastrophic experience. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs