Home > News > World
Monday March 17, 2014 MYT 9:20:02 PM
Monday March 17, 2014 MYT 9:21:36 PM
LISBON (Reuters) - The head of Portugal's opposition Socialists has agreed to meet the centre-right government on Monday to discuss plans to shrink the budget gap after the country's bailout, but his spokeswoman stopped short of saying he would agree to a cross-party deal.
The government is keen to show investors Portugal can stand on its own two feet after the rescue package comes to a close in May, and that its commitment to budget consolidation will not be derailed by next year's elections, whatever their outcome.
After Lisbon exits its bailout by the European Union and the IMF, its finances will still be bound by deficit reduction targets set by the 2012 European Union fiscal stability treaty.
Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho invited Socialist leader Antonio Jose Seguro last week to discuss post-bailout plans that would include a medium-term budget strategy.
"The leader of the Socialists communicated to the prime minister that he will fulfil his institutional duty and meet with the prime minister, as is normal in a consolidated democracy," a spokeswoman for the Socialists told Reuters on Monday.
The centre-left Socialists have supported the European fiscal stability treaty but say budget consolidation should be based on growth and not the spending cuts defended by the government.
Despite the gaping differences in approach, the opposition party has recently shown itself more open to dialogue.
An agreement between the government and the Socialists could ease some economists' fears that Portugal might need a further loan from creditors after the bailout.
Portuguese yields are trading near four-year lows as confidence rises that the country can exit the bailout smoothly.
(Reporting By Sergio Goncalves and Axel Bugge)
Philippines confirms second MERS case
Greek finance minister quits to smooth talks after 'No' vote
'Europe is dying', EU opponents say, as Greek 'No' brings delight
Singaporean blogger sentenced to jail time already served
Celebrate Raya in style with GEMFIVE
The 3 unexpected life events that leave us in debt
Project delayed by two months
Canadian judge rejects request for injunction against Uber
Buka puasa buffet with 80 dishes
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Media Group Berhad (ROC 10894D)(Formerly known as Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad)