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Portugal

Yearbook 2011

Portugal. In the January presidential election, incumbent Head of State Aníbal Cavaco Silva was re-elected for a second term. He already won in the first round with 53% of the vote. According to Countryaah official site, the ruling Socialist Party's candidate received only 20%, while three others shared the rest.

2011 Portugal

No clearing could be seen in the economic crisis, with a galloping budget deficit that Portugal has been in for years. In March, the Socialist minority government failed to get Parliament's support for a fourth austerity package in less than a year. As a result, Prime Minister José Sócrates resigned and announced his election.

The already high borrowing costs were then pushed inexorably upwards and in April the interest rates for ten-year loans reached 9%, well above the 7% that has been perceived as a limit. Portugal became the third euro area country, after Greece and Ireland, forced to seek financial support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the euro area's newly established crisis fund EFSF. In May, a loan package of EUR 78 billion was completed, of which two thirds from the EU and one third from the IMF. Portugal pledged to make cuts in health care and school, raise taxes, freeze government salaries and pensions and reduce unemployment benefits.

Although the bourgeois opposition parties also supported the unpopular austerity measures, they won the elections in June. The Socialists received less than 30% voter support, and Sócrates resigned directly from the party leader post. The Social Democratic PSD, which is the conservative name despite, became the largest with almost half of the votes and formed a coalition government with the Christian Democratic CDS-PP. The new Prime Minister was Pedro Passus Coelho. Turnout was at a record low of 58%.

The change of government did nothing to calm the market. Portugal's credit rating continued downward and reached the rubbish status of several credit rating agencies. The popular dissatisfaction also continued. Several protests were held, and in November, hundreds of thousands of public servants took part in a 24-hour strike against the tough austerity measures.

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