A censure motion presented by Portugal’s Socialist Party against the government of Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho was rejected in a parliament vote today, said Assuncao Esteves, president of the country’s legislature.
The coalition government is backed by the Social Democrats and the conservative CDS party, which together have a majority of seats in parliament.
The Socialist Party is the biggest opposition group. The Communist Party and the Left Bloc joined the Socialists in backing the censure motion. A Socialist minority government requested a European Union-led bailout in April 2011 before losing elections held in June of that year.
Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho is battling rising joblessness and lower demand from European trading partners as he raises taxes to meet the terms of a 78 billion-euro ($100 billion) aid plan from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. The government on March 15 announced wider deficit targets as it forecast the economy will shrink twice as much as previously estimated this year.
Gross domestic product contracted for a ninth straight quarter in the three months through December as exports dropped with the euro area’s deepening recession, and Portugal’s jobless rate rose to a euro-era record of 16.9 percent.
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