Portuguese government rests on its laurels in re-election bid, risks backlash over austerity

Portugal's center-right coalition government hopes its record overseeing the country's recovery from the brink of bankruptcy will be enough to get it re-elected.

The Social Democratic Party and Popular Party took office after Portugal received a 78 billion euros ($85.5 billion) bailout in 2011 during Europe's financial crisis. The left-of-center Socialist Party had been in power for the previous six years.

A general election is scheduled for October, and Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho said at the launch of the governing parties' joint manifesto late Wednesday that "those who rectify the past hold the keys to the future."

He promised "diligent and steadfast" government but offered no major policy initiatives.

Austerity measures designed to reduce government debt, including steep tax hikes and cuts in public services, have been deeply unpopular.