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Portugal wants to end 'protectorate', could seek new loan: Portas

LISBON (Reuters) - If Portugal passes its creditors' current review of its bailout it could consider a precautionary loan program to replace the current one, Deputy Prime Minister Paulo Portas said on Monday. Inspectors from the European Union and IMF were due to start their latest review of the country's bailout on Monday. The program ends in the middle of next year, when Portugal is expected to return to full market financing if it can avoid a new bailout.

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.

Portugal PM confirms reshuffle request, Portas to be deputy PM

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal's prime minister confirmed on Monday his intention to make junior coalition party leader Paulo Portas his deputy, coordinating talks with Lisbon's EU and IMF lenders that has been a key condition to heal a rift within the government. He told reporters he is yet to formalize the request to the president who will the announce the final terms of the reshuffle, which would promote Portas from his current position of foreign minister.

Socialists pull out of consensus talks over changes in Portugal's coalition government

LISBON, Portugal - The leader of Portugal's main opposition party says talks aimed at resolving a dispute over changes in the coalition government have failed. The coalition nearly split July 2 when Foreign Minister Paulo Portas, the leader of the junior party, threatened to resign. A compromise was reached when Portas was appointed deputy to Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho. But President Anibal Cavaco Silva asked the government to reach a consensus with the Socialists, Portugal's leading opposition party.

Portugal needs unity, quick return to growth, says new economic czar

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal needs political stability to complete its aid program but must also focus on bouncing back quickly from recession, the minister appointed to coordinate economic policy said on Tuesday. Paulo Portas, who heads junior coalition party CDS-PP, resigned as foreign minister last week, sparking a political crisis that threatened both the government and the 78-billion-euro bailout that Portugal is due to exit next year.

Nurses strike hits Portugal hospitals

Nurses launched a two-day strike in Portugal on Tuesday to protest salary cuts and longer hours imposed as part of the bailed-out nation's austerity squeeze. "Medical consultations and surgical operations will have to be cancelled because of the lack of nurses," said Portuguese nurses' union chief Jose Carlos Martins. The union said 87 percent of nurses followed the strike call in the morning in protest at the extension of their work week from 35 hours to 40 hours and salary cuts. It said some nurses earned just 3.40 euros ($4.40) an hour.

Back from the brink in Portugal, but risks loom

By Shrikesh Laxmidas LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal's coalition partners healed a perilous internal rift with a cabinet reshuffle that offers temporary stability, but the result is still likely to test Lisbon's relations with its international lenders. Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho promoted Paulo Portas, the head of the junior coalition party CDS-PP, to be his deputy on Saturday, hoping to end a rift that threatened to bring down the government and endanger the country's bailout.

CORRECTED: Portugal's PM names new deputy in deal to avert coalition collapse

Portugal's prime minister said Saturday that foreign minister Paulo Portas, whose resignation this week sparked a political crisis, will remain in government and get a bigger role under a deal to hold the ruling coalition together. "I have proposed that Paulo Portas take on the post of deputy prime minister with the responsibility of coordinating economic policies and relations with the 'troika' of Portugal's creditors," said Pedro Passos Coelho in a press conference alongside Portas.

Portuguese PM to detail deal on averting coalition collapse

Portugal's prime minister is due Saturday to finalise a deal aimed at averting the breakup of his coalition government, after the resignations of two key ministers plunged the country into a political crisis. The shock resignations of finance minister Vitor Gaspar and foreign minister Paulo Portas had raised the spectre of a fresh wave of instability in the eurozone's debt-laden periphery, where public anger was rising against painful reforms imposed by international creditors.
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