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Portugal passes fresh tax hikes

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Portugal passes fresh tax hikes

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Portugal’s parliament has passed the country’s largest tax hike package in decades.

The changes form part of Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho’s new 2013 budget programme.

Lisbon has to meet targets set by a 78-billion-euro bailout agreement with the EU and IMF.

The bill passed despite the main opposition Socialists voting against as the governing coalition parties control 132 seats in the 230 seat parliament. The government must now wait to see if the cuts will be challenged in the constitutional court.

Judges threw out similar measures earlier this year.

Ministers have already slashed public sector wages, triggering a series of demonstrations.