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03 January 2013

EUobserver: Portugal seeks court inquiry into unjust debt deal

Portugal's President has called into question the viability of his country's austerity programme. Cavaco Silva said that he would request an inquiry from the country's top court on whether planned spending cuts as well as a new supertax on pensions above €1,350 a month were constitutional.

Portugal was forced to request an EU-International-Monetary-Fund (IMF) bailout worth €78 billion in May 2011, after seeing its credit rating cut to junk status and finding itself unable to finance its debt. It has won praise for the implementation of its bailout terms and is expected to return to fully self-financing itself on the debt market in September 2013.

However, with the country expected to stay in recession in 2013 for the third successive year, the country's unemployment rate has risen to 17 per cent, with youth joblessness standing at just under 40 per cent. Taxpayers are also set to feel further pain as the government bids to increase tax revenues by 30 per cent. The Portuguese courts have already ruled that several measures contained in the 2012 budget are unconstitutional.

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