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Portuguese PM says formula found to save coalition govt


08:46, July 05, 2013

LISBON, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho said Thursday that he had found a formula to save his coalition government after the resignation of Foreign Minister Paulo Portas and Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar early this week.

"A formula has been found to maintain the stability of the government," Passos Coelho told reporters after meeting with President Anibal Cavaco Silva at the presidential palace, but he did not give any details.

He said the Socialist Democratic Party (PSD) and its junior partner in the coalition government, the People's Party (CDS-PP), will jointly seek an effective solution to defuse the current political crisis to ensure political stability in the country.

The prime minister said Portas' resignation is merely his personal decision, and it will not have any impact on the normal functioning of the coalition government.

Passos Coelho met with Portas three times in the past 24 hours, in a bid to find a way out to avoid the breakup of their political partnership.

Portas resigned Tuesday for his opposition to the appointment of former Secretary of State of Treasury Maria Luis Albuquerque as new financial minister to replace Vitor Gaspar who stepped down the previous day.

Portas has been at odds with the coalition government over its tough austerity measures, the reduction of pension in particular, under a 78-billion-euro bailout agreement with international lenders of the troika comprising the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.

The government move has triggered outrage among the Portuguese people who frequently took to the streets in protest against the government.

The resignations of the two top ministers in the coalition government has left it on the verge of collapse.

Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva will also meet with representatives of parties in the parliament to solve the political crisis in the country.

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