Portugal's PM eyes tougher austerity measures

AP News
Posted: Jun 24, 2011 9:51 AM
Portugal's PM eyes tougher austerity measures

Portugal's new prime minister says his coalition government is preparing to accelerate and possibly broaden austerity measures the country promised in return for a euro78 billion ($110 billion) bailout.

Pedro Passos Coelho, who took office earlier this week at the head of a center-right administration, says he is also considering a swifter reorganization of loss-making state companies.

Passos Coelho said after a European Union summit Friday in Brussels that he will announce details of his plans next week.

Portugal, like Greece and Ireland, had to ask for financial rescue after its debt levels pushed it close to bankruptcy and aggravated Europe's sovereign debt crisis.

The austerity program is expected to deepen Portugal's economic recession and worsen unemployment.