Portugal: Major crisis, meager budget
27 January 2010
The 2010 budget presented by the Portuguese government will cut the country's deficit by one percent to 8.3%. But in the context of nervous markets and fretting European partners, the reduction will not be viewed as a sufficient response to the crisis, notes Público. The daily explains that "not much has changed between 2009 and 2010: the economy is still in crisis, the budget deficit remains close to an all-time record high," and unemployment is expected to rise to 9.8%. The civil service pay freeze and cuts in public spending in the budget have been strongly criticized by the country's public sector unions. However, the austerity measures have the support of the country's main political parties. As Público explains, "the most important aspect of the budget is neither financial nor economic, but has to do with the negotiations which paved the way for its acceptance."