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Portuguese parliament approves new spending cuts

, June 8, 2013, 0 Comments

Portuguese-government-spending-cutsThe Portuguese government has voted in favor of altered spending cuts that had become necessary after an earlier Constitutional Court ruling. Lisbon was confident it would be able to meet EU deficit targets.

Portugal’s center-right coalition parties used their majority in the national parliament to approve important budget amendments on Friday afternoon.

The government was forced to redraw its spending plans after the Constitutional Court ruled that some of this year’s austerity measures were unlawful, leaving Lisbon with a 1.3 billion euro ($1.7 billion) shortfall.

The court rejected part of the original measures that would have reduced holiday bonuses and other public-sector perks, arguing it was unfair to single out civil servants for reductions in benefits under measures imposed to meet the terms of an international bailout program.

Public protests

The amendments approved Friday included reduced spending on public-sector goods and services, an extension of working hours and a delay in the age qualifying for a full pension from 65 to 66 years.

The government was confident the measures would put Lisbon in a position to achieve this year’s deficit target of 5.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in line with requirements coming from international creditors who granted Portugal a 78 billion euro bailout two years ago.

The parliamentary session was accompanied by a new spate of strikes, including a walkout by postal workers that disrupted national mail services.

Source: Deutsche Welle |