President says Portugal must respect EU, avoid return to crisis

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 09, 2016 6:14 AM

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal's new center-right President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said on Wednesday the country has to respect its international commitments, especially within the European Union, and maintain financial rigor to avoid future crises.

"Without rigor and financial transparency the risk of returning to crises is painfully larger," Rebelo de Sousa said during his inauguration speech, adding that economic growth must be accompanied by job creation to avoid social inequality.

Rebelo de Sousa takes over the presidency after Socialist Prime Minister Antonio Costa came to power in November by teaming up with the far left Communists and Left Bloc to oust a center-right government. The new administration has started to roll back austerity launched by the previous government.

Under Portugal's semi-presidential system, the president has powers to veto laws, dissolve parliament, fire the government and call new elections.

(Reporting By Axel Bugge and Sergio Goncalves)