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Portugal PM Passos Coelho defeated by anti-austerity MPs

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By Euronews
Portugal PM Passos Coelho defeated by anti-austerity MPs

<p>Anti-austerity lawmakers have ousted Portugal’s centre-right government by rejecting its policy proposals less than two weeks after it was sworn in for a second term.</p> <p>The three left-wing parties agreed to join forces to get rid of the centre-right paving the way for a new administration to end years of austerity. </p> <p>“We see power as [public] service,” said prime minister Passos Coelho. “So it must be a deception of the opposition, who believe in the false idea that it will be hard for us to leave government. It is not everyday that one leaves a government holding the vote of the electorate.”</p> <p>Portugal’s next prime minister is likely to be Socialist Party leader Antonio Costa, who engineered the move to team up with the Communist and Left Bloc parties.</p> <p>“The fact that for the first time a government may be formed by parliamentary agreement between PS [Socialist Party], the Left Bloc, <span class="caps">PCP</span> [Communist Party] and <span class="caps">PEV</span> [The Greens] is indeed something new,” said Antonio Costa, leader of the<br /> Socialist Party. “Something that straightens our democracy and parliamentary pluralism, and government alternatives.”</p> <p>Portugal’s president could ask the government to play a caretaker role until fresh elections, or invite Costa to form the next government.</p>