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Portugal's far-left open to working with new minority Socialist government

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Portugal's far-left open to working with new minority Socialist government
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Portuguese far-left parties said on Wednesday that they were open to work with a new minority Socialist government. The Communists said they were willing to cooperating on a case-by-case basis while the Left Bloc said it favours a long-term deal.

The Socialist party of Prime Minister Antonio Costa won a general election on Sunday but did not secure a full majority. This led him to negotiate with the far-left allies that have supported his coalition over the past four years.

READ MORE: Socialist Antonio Costa wins Portugal election, will continue 'contraption' coalition

Costa's Socialists won at least 106 Socialist seats in the 230-strong house. The PM will therefore need the support of just one of his previous partners to pass laws.

A potential renewal of the 2015 deal was discussed during the meetings on Wednesday but the Communists said there was no need for a written agreement as happened in 2015. They said they were willing to make a joint assessment of different measures, including the 2020 state budget.

The Left Bloc, however, would prefer a written policy deal. "(But) we don't close the door to case-by-case approvals of measure if this is not possible", party leader Catarina Martins told reporters after meeting Costa.

Both parties will meet again "in the coming days", Costa said.

"The most important thing is to guarantee there are conditions for us to start governing and there are political conditions, with a (written) agreement or not, to meet expectations of stability for this legislature," he added.

Costa has also met with the Greens, environmentalist People-Animals-Nature (PAN) party and the left-wing Livre. PAN said it would meet the Socialists again next week.