Portugal no-confidence vote to fail, PSD won't support

A no confidence motion presented by Portugal's Communist-Green alliance over the government's austerity plan was doomed for failure.

Portugal no-confidence vote to fail, PSD won't support


A no confidence motion presented on Tuesday by Portugal's Communist-Green alliance over the government's austerity plan was doomed for failure as the country's main opposition said it would not lend its support.

The Communist-Green alliance, the smallest party in parliament with just 15 seats, says the minority Socialist government's proposals to cut back on spending will increase economic and social injustice.

Miguel Macedo, the bench leader for the main opposition 81-seat center-right Social-Democrats (PSD), said the country "cannot afford the luxury of adding a political crisis to a very serious financial and economic crisis."

Cited by a party spokesman, Macedo said "the government does deserve censure on various accounts, but there is no room for a no-confidence motion at a difficult moment Portugal is living".

The PSD had already pledged their support for the government's austerity measures to stabilise the country's financial situation and promised to avoid political instability while investors fret over Portugal's creditworthiness.

The no-confidence motion will fail if the PSD abstains as expected from the vote on Friday, said Viriato Soromenho Marques, a political analyst at the University of Lisbon.

"Voting against the motion could be interpreted as direct support to the government, which could be damaging for the PSD, but an abstention shows that there is a technical convergence, that they don't work against the government," said Viriato Marques, a political analyst at the University of Lisbon.

Speaking in Madrid, Prime Minister Jose Socrates condemned the Communist Party for being "totally irresponsible". Portuguese Finance Minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos played down the motion and said in Brussels he was more preoccupied with implementing the austerity measures.

The government on Thursday announced a set of new measures, including tax hikes and wage cuts, that deepen and accelerate its previously announced fiscal consolidation plans.

Reuters

Last Mod: 18 Mayıs 2010, 20:00
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