World

More or less austerity? Portuguese to choose in general election slated for October

A man whistles during a workers' unions demonstration against the government's austerity measures outside the parliament in Lisbon, Wednesday, July 22 2015. On Tuesday the Portuguese president began hearing political leaders to decide on a date for the country's next general elections to be held after the summer. The banner reads "No to right wing policy". (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

A man whistles during a workers' unions demonstration against the government's austerity measures outside the parliament in Lisbon, Wednesday, July 22 2015. On Tuesday the Portuguese president began hearing political leaders to decide on a date for the country's next general elections to be held after the summer. The banner reads "No to right wing policy". (AP Photo/Armando Franca)  (The Associated Press)

Portugal will elect a new government Oct. 4, with voters choosing whether to stick with austerity policies or get more money in their pockets.

Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva announced the date of the parliamentary elections in a televised address late Wednesday. He said it was "extremely desirable" for the next government to have a clear majority in Parliament, ensuring political stability.

But recent opinion polls have indicated that main rivals are neck-and-neck.

The two parties in the center-right coalition government say Portugal must persevere with spending cuts adopted after the country's 78 billion euros ($85.7 billion) bailout in 2011.

The center-left Socialist Party, the main opposition, says it would abide by eurozone fiscal rules but ease income taxes and encourage corporate investment.