|Author (Person)||Wise, Peter|
|Series Title||Financial Times|
The Portuguese Constitutional Court (Tribunal Constitucional) ruled on the 5 April 2013 that tough austerity measures aimed at keeping the country’s €78bn bailout programme on track were in breach of the constitution, blowing a hole in the government’s 2013 budget.
The ruling could force Pedro Passos Coelho, the Prime Minister, to negotiate alternative deficit reduction measures with international lenders from the EU and IMF.
The decision also threatened to destabilise Mr Passo Coelho’s leadership of his centre-right coalition. Amid opposition calls for his resignation, he convened an emergency cabinet meeting on the 6 April 2013 to discuss the repercussions of the court ruling.
After the meeting the government said that the court ruling had created a 'complex situation' ahead of a imminent decision by eurozone finance ministers on Portugal’s request for more time to pay back its bailout loans.
In a statement on tv to the nation on the 7 April 2013 Mr Coelho repeatedly used the phrase 'national emergency' to describe Portugal's situation.
The European Commission issued a statement on the 7 April 2013 welcoming that, following the decision of the Constitutional Court, the Portuguese Government had confirmed its commitment to the adjustment programme, including its fiscal targets and timeline.
The ruling was the latest in a series of troubles for the embattled prime minister following the resignation on the 4 April 2013 of a senior cabinet minister Miguel Relvas and the government’s defeat of an opposition no-confidence motion on the 3 April 2013.
|Countries / Regions||Portugal|