Portugal's Socialist leader says he's ready to take power, vows to abide by eurozone rules

Portuguese Socialist leader Antonio Costa says he is available to take power immediately following the center-right government's collapse and promises to comply with the fiscal discipline required of countries like Portugal that use Europe's shared euro currency.

Costa said in an interview Thursday in Portuguese magazine Visao that his moderate, center-left party's anti-austerity pact with the Communist Party and radical Left Bloc ensures long-term political stability. He rejects critics' claims the alliance is artificial and won't last long.

Portugal's president was due to consult the country's political leaders and representatives of labor groups and businesses before deciding whether to invite the Socialists to form a government or appoint a caretaker government ahead of new elections.

The uncertainty came after the leftist alliance unseated the center-right government.