LISBON, Portugal – Opposition parties in Portugal are presenting a motion of no confidence in the government as the bailed-out country endures a predicted third year of recession and a jobless rate that has grown to 17.5 percent.
The center-right coalition government had enough votes to easily defeat the motion in Parliament on Tuesday. But the political pressure added another dose of uncertainty into financial markets already jittery about the fate of Cyprus and the wider eurozone.
Portugal needed a 78-billion-euro ($100 billion) rescue two years ago when it was engulfed by the eurozone's financial crisis.
The bailout agreement signed with creditors locked Portugal into austerity policies which are now widely blamed for the steep economic downturn. The government's tax hikes and pay cuts have stoked public anger.