LISBON/BRUSSELS/BERLIN | | portugal

LISBON/BRUSSELS/BERLIN (Own report) - The EU is exerting massive pressure to prevent the new Portuguese government from reversing austerity measures. Last Friday, the EU Commission conditionally accepted - with stipulations - Prime Minister António Costa's Draft Budget Plan aimed at phasing out the austerity policy. Brussels has already scheduled a budget reassessment for the spring. During her meeting with Costa, the day of the Commission's decision, Angela Merkel urged Portugal's prime minister to continue to pursue his predecessor Pedro Passos Coelho's austerity policy. Powerful financial market actors, notably the Commerzbank, are also opposing the democratically elected Prime Minister. The socialist minority government - supported by smaller leftwing parties - is facing a crucial test. more…

Eurocracy

LISBON/BRUSSELS | | portugal

LISBON/BRUSSELS (Own report) - The austerity dictate, imposed by Berlin on the Eurozone, is a stumbling block for the formation of a democratically legitimized government in Portugal. In the country's recent elections, the Partido Socialista (PS) and two alliances of left-wing parties had won the majority of parliamentary seats because they had promised to reject the former government's harsh austerity program. This was not tolerated in the German-dominated EU, therefore, President Aníbal Cavaco Silva, refuses to mandate the PS to form a new government. Instead, he has called on the former Prime Minister of the conservatives, Pedro Passos Coelho, who had lost the elections. Cavaco Silva declared, Portugal's governments have never relied on "the support of anti-European forces," with reference to the EU critical positions of the two alliances of left parties, which are also not tolerated by Portugal's establishment. It is unclear how this will develop. In spite of the new democratic majority, Passos Coelho may be kept in office for another six months. On various occasions over the past few years, electoral and referendum results have been negated, because they did not correspond to the EU's austerity dictate. Democracy is losing out to the German-inspired austerity. more…