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Portugal political crisis: no end in sight

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Portugal political crisis: no end in sight
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Crisis talks between Portugal’s three main political parties have broken down, raising doubts about the country’s international bailout programme.

The Portugese President Anibal Cavaco Silva has been pushing for the Socialist Party (PS) to join the ruling parties – the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Democratic and Social Centre (CDS) – to form a National Salvation pact and ensure the bailout stays on track.

PS leader António José Seguro said negotiations had failed because the governing coalition had rejected most of his party’s proposals.

“This week we did all we could to find realistic solutions to the serious problems of the Portuguese, of families and businesses. Even so, the PSD and the CDS failed to commit to a National Salvation pact,” Seguro told reporters.

The PS, which is beating its rivals in the polls, is opposed to more austerity measures. The governing parties say abandoning those policies would undermine Lisbon’s credibility with lenders and investors.