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Portugal to raise retirement age, lay off 30,000 amid effort to save $6.3B over 3 years

Portugal's prime minister says he plans to raise the retirement age to 66 from 65 and lay off some 30,000 government workers in measures that aim to save 4.8 billion euros ($6.3 billion) over the next three years.

Pedro Passos Coelho said in a televised address to the nation Friday that the new measures are needed to ensure Portugal won't require another bailout.

Portugal got a 78 billion euro rescue in 2011 after overspending, heavy debts and weak growth left it close to bankruptcy amid the eurozone's financial crisis.

Many people blame the government's spending cuts and tax hikes for a recession that is forecast to continue for a third straight year in 2013.

Unemployment is at 17.5 percent, and the government predicts it will reach 18.5 percent next year.