LISBON, Portugal – Portugal's two coalition government parties have used their parliamentary majority to pass 2013 state budget amendments contested by the opposition, which wants to ease the bailed-out country's austerity drive.
The center-right government had to redraw its spending plans after the Constitutional Court ruled that some of this year's austerity measures were unlawful, leaving it with a 1.3-billion-euro ($1.7 billion) savings shortfall.
The amendments approved Friday slash spending on public sector pay, goods and services to achieve this year's deficit target of 5.5 percent, which was stipulated by creditors who granted the country a 78-billion-euro rescue package two years ago. The deficit last year was 6.4 percent.
The latest cuts have brought a new spate of strikes, including a walkout by postal workers Friday that disrupted mail services.