23 Mar '11, 9pm

Portuguese PM quits

Portuguese PM quits

LISBON: Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates resigned Wednesday on the eve of a key EU summit on the eurozone debt crisis after parliament rejected his minority government's latest austerity plan. All five opposition parties voted against his Socialist government's fourth cost-cutting plan in a year, aimed at avoiding a multi-billion euro financial bailout like those granted Greece and Ireland last year. The political drama threatens to derail a two-day summit that gets under way in Brussels on Thursday which expected to finalise the bloc's response to a eurozone debt crisis. It also will increase borrowing costs for the Portuguese government as it faces bond replayments amounting to nine billion euro ($12.9 billion) falling due by June 15, increasing the probability that Lisbon will seek a bailout. "The opposition removed from the government the conditions to govern. A...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world/view/111...

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