Portugal's leader blames tax lapses on forgetfulness, lack of cash; refuses to resign

Portugal's prime minister gave the taxman extra muscle as part of a crackdown on fraud and evasion after the country needed a 78-billion-euro ($86 billion) bailout in 2011. Now, Pedro Passos Coelho is admitting he was one of those who did not always comply with his tax obligations.

The center-right government leader said in a statement published Friday by weekly paper Sol that some years he filed his tax return late, "sometimes because I forgot, sometimes because I had no money."

He says he later paid outstanding sums and financial penalties. The unpaid amounts were reportedly up to a few thousand euros.

Opposition parties say that in other countries such lapses would be grounds for the prime minister's resignation, but Passos Coelho says he's not quitting.