Lisbon says government coalition is sound

Sept. 22, 2012 at 11:39 AM
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LISBON, Portugal, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- The national government in Portugal said the two-party ruling coalition agreed to stay on course to meet terms of the country's international bailout.

"The council was informed of the government's readiness to study, within the framework of the social bargaining process, alternatives to changes in the social security rate," a statement released by President Cavaco Silva's state council said after a meeting.

The British Broadcasting Corp. reported Saturday the coalition government in Lisbon had lost some of its credibility in the wake of street protests over austerity targets the government expects to meet to comply with terms of its $101 billion bailout.

The European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund had recently granted Portugal a one-year extension on hitting various budgeting targets.

Some reports said the two-party ruling coalition was beginning to fray. One of the pivotal issues was a hike in the social security tax, which the council said was no longer in consideration.

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