Portugal Gov't Verges on Collapse

Country could soon go the way of Greece, Ireland
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2011 9:08 AM CDT
Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates addresses journalists during a news conference Monday, March 14, 2011, at the Sao Bento palace, the premier's official residence, in Lisbon.   (AP Photo/Armando Franca)
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(Newser) – Today promises to be a tumultuous day in Portugal, with all signs pointing to the resignation of Prime Minister Jose Socrates and the collapse of his minority Socialist administration. The country’s parliament is expected to vote down Socrates’ austerity plan, a move the prime minister contends will force the country to ask for an international bailout like Greece and Ireland, Reuters reports.

If that happens, Socrates says he’ll quit in protest. “The prime minister does not want to resign, but he cannot govern against his convictions,” said one Socialist leader, who accused the main opposition group, the Social Democrats, of “opening a political crisis at the worst moment.” The Social Democrats are discussing holding a snap election if Socrates makes good on his pledge.

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