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.
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
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