Portugal's parliament rejects budget, snap election looms in 2022
Portugal's parliament threw out the minority Socialist government's 2022 budget bill on Wednesday, paving the way for snap elections and ending six years of relative political stability under Prime Minister Antonio Costa, Trend reports citing Reuters.
Costa's hard-left former allies sided with the conservatives to defeat the bill that envisaged income tax cuts for the middle class and increased public investment while cutting the deficit to 3.2% of gross domestic product from 4.3% in 2021.
The Communists and Left Bloc said Costa had ignored their demands for more protection for workers, improvements in the social security system and more public investment in the health service as he was too focused on deficit cuts.
Costa argued he could not risk damaging hard-earned international credibility in a country with one of the heaviest public debt burdens in Europe and which was subject to painful austerity from 2011 to 2014 under an international bailout.