Political feud in Portugal endangers government

AP News
Posted: Mar 17, 2011 8:36 AM

The leader of Portugal's main opposition party says he won't support the minority government's latest measures aimed at avoiding a bailout for the debt-laden country.

The decision could force the beleaguered government's downfall, triggering fresh market jitters just as Europe readies new measures to contain the continent's sovereign debt crisis.

Many analysts anticipate Portugal's high debt load and feeble growth will compel it to ask for financial assistance like Greece and Ireland last year.

Pedro Passos Coelho, leader of the center-right Social Democratic Party, said Thursday he cannot endorse the center-left Socialist government's latest austerity plan. Other opposition parties also disagree with the steps.