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Spain's king resumes travel agenda for state visits

Cascais, Portugal, Feb 11 (EFE).- Spain's King Juan Carlos resumed Tuesday his official agenda abroad with a state visit to Portugal. The king and Queen Sofia attended a dinner in Cascais with the presidents of Portugal, Anibal Cavaco Silva, and of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano, and their respective wives. The purpose of the king's first trip to another country after his last hip operation is to participate, together with Napolitano and Cavaco Silva, in the 9th COTEC Europe Meeting on Wednesday in Lisbon.

Portuguese parliament adopts 2014 austerity budget

Portugal on Tuesday adopted a tough new austerity budget for the debt-wracked nation as thousands of angry protesters rallied, some even entering ministry buildings and the parliament. The text was adopted by lawmakers of the ruling centre-right coalition, who hold 132 of 230 seats, overriding the left-wing opposition which voted against. The 2014 budget aims to save 3.9 billion euros ($5.3 billion), partly through cutting public sector salaries and pensions.

Portugal government is punished for bailout-linked austerity measures in local elections

LISBON, Portugal - Portuguese voters angry about austerity have punished the coalition government's senior party in municipal elections. The centre-right Social Democratic Party recorded its worst local election defeat in more than two decades in Sunday's ballot. Meanwhile, the main opposition Socialist Party claimed its biggest success in the nationwide elections for mayors and councillors.

Austerity clobbers Portugal's ruling party in local votes

By Andrei Khalip LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal's ruling Social Democrats took a heavy beating in Sunday's local elections as voters passed their verdict on national austerity measures accompanying the country's 2011 bailout by international lenders. The elections, for 308 municipal mayors, took place during a review visit by officials from the lenders, the European Union and International Monetary Fund, during which they are expected to demand more spending cuts.

Portugal seeks easing of 2014 deficit goal

Portugal on Wednesday urged its international lenders to ease its 2014 public deficit reduction target from 4 percent to 4.5 percent of GDP. Deputy Prime Minister Paulo Portas said it was no secret that Portugal and the so-called troika of international creditors -- the EU, IMF and ECB -- had differed on the target for reducing the deficit. During the latest review, "the Portuguese government had argued for a 4.5 percent public deficit but the troika had asked for 4 percent," Portas said.

Portugal PM: no need to change constitution for bailout drive

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal's constitutional court is complicating Lisbon's already fraught attempts to meet its EU/IMF bailout goals but Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho said on Sunday he had no intention of limiting its power by changing the constitution. The prime minister also pledged to revise labor reforms which the court rejected last week.

Portugal political crisis a catalogue of missteps

By Andrei Khalip LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal's political crisis may have been papered over but the ill-timed power games have done little to help the bailed-out country's credibility abroad. Featuring several U-turns, including an "irrevocable" resignation by a junior governing coalition partner which ultimately led to his promotion, the crisis wasted a precious three weeks and left its protagonists weakened and facing the same heap of economic problems to solve as before.

Portugal president approves reshuffle, ending government rift

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal's president approved on Tuesday the promotion of junior coalition party leader Paulo Portas to deputy prime minister and a wider government reshuffle as proposed by premier Pedro Passos Coelho to ensure the ruling coalition's unity after a rift. The promotion of Portas, who leads the rightist CDS-PP party, from foreign minister to deputy prime minister coordinating talks with Lisbon's EU and IMF lenders has been a key condition to heal the rift which earlier this month had threatened to derail Lisbon's bailout.

Investor pressure on Portugal eases after governing crisis defused with coalition intact

LISBON, Portugal - Portuguese financial markets surged Monday following a weekend decision to allow the fragile coalition government to remain in charge, eliminating for now the prospect of snap elections and more political uncertainty. Lisbon's PSI 20 stock index was up 2.4 per cent in late afternoon trading while government bond prices rose sharply, causing borrowing rates to fall. The interest rate on the benchmark 10-year bond — what the government would pay to borrow money from the open market — fell 0.45 percentage points to 6.29 per cent.

President cools, not cures Portuguese crisis

By Shrikesh Laxmidas LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal's president has soothed investor concerns by keeping the government in place until 2015, but unresolved tensions over austerity mean the country's political crisis has not been laid to rest. Essentially the immediate symptoms of crisis have been treated, but the cure for the underlying condition remains elusive.
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