Portugal court rules against austerity

Author (Person)
Series Title
Series Details 05.04.13
Publication Date 05/04/2013
Content Type

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.

Related Links
ESO: Background information: Portugal braced for ‘fiscal earthquake’ http://www.europeansources.info/record/portugal-braced-for-fiscal-earthquake/
Público, 05.04.13: ‘Government refers Relvas degree to prosecutors and forces him to resign’ (via PressEurop) http://www.presseurop.eu/en/content/news-brief/3634791-government-refers-relvas-degree-prosecutors-and-forces-him-resign
BBC News, 06.04.13: Portugal constitutional court rejects budget articles http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22048169
Euronews, 06.04.13: Portuguese Constitutional Court rejects part of austerity plan http://www.euronews.com/2013/04/06/portuguese-constitutional-court-rejects-part-of-austerity-plan/
Euronews: Tag: Portugal http://www.euronews.com/tag/portugal/
Deutsche Welle, 05.04.13: Constitutional court rejects parts of Portugal's budget http://www.dw.de/constitutional-court-rejects-parts-of-portugals-budget/a-16724591
The Portugal News, 06.04.13: Govt needs to find €1.35bn as Constitutional Court rules budget illegal http://theportugalnews.com/news/govt-needs-to-find-135bn-as-constitutional-court-rules-budget-illegal/28154
Wikipedia: Portuguese Constitutional Court http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_Constitutional_Court
Website: Portugal: Constitutional Court / Tribunal Constitucional http://www.tribunalconstitucional.pt/tc/en/home.html
Portugal: Constitutional Court / Tribunal Constitucional: Acórdão nº 187/2013: Orçamento do Estado para 2013 http://www.tribunalconstitucional.pt/tc/acordaos/20130187.html
BBC News, 06.04.13: Portugal PM holds urgent budget talks after court ruling http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22054967
EurActiv, 08.04.13: Portugal urged to stick to fiscal targets after court ruling http://www.euractiv.com/euro-finance/portugal-urged-stick-fiscal-targ-news-518931
European Commission: RAPID: MEMO/13/307: Statement by the European Commission on Portugal http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-13-307_en.pdf
BBC News, 07.04.13: Portugal budget: PM Passos Coelho seeks alternative cuts http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22058461
El País, 07.04.13: Portuguese PM announces fresh cuts in education and health http://elpais.com/elpais/2013/04/07/inenglish/1365345654_606309.html
EUObserver, 08.04.13: Portuguese PM speaks of 'national emergency' after court ruling http://euobserver.com/economic/119729
Deutsche Welle, 09.04.13: Portugal stumbles on overturned austerity plans http://www.dw.de/portugal-stumbles-on-overturned-austerity-plans/a-16730268

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Record URL https://www.europeansources.info/record/?p=464949