Portugal launches another round of spending cuts

The center-right government says the new austerity measures are needed to meet deficit targets stipulated by creditors who gave the country a 78 billion euros bailout two years ago.

Workers with wage arrears from Portuguese building company FDO protest outside the company's headquarters Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012, in the outskirts of Braga, Portugal. According to the board of directors the company, which employs 700 workers, will declare bankruptcy after the largest Portuguese banks have cut off its credit. Portugal's economy contracted by 1.5 percent last year, pitching it into a double-dip recession amid an acute financial crisis, the country's statistics agency reports. (AP Photo/Paulo Duarte)

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal's government has announced plans to save around 800 million euros ($1 billion) this year — about 0.5 percent of its annual gross domestic product — by slashing expenditure on public sector staff, goods and services.

The center-right government says the new austerity measures are needed to meet deficit targets stipulated by creditors who gave the country a 78 billion euros bailout two years ago.

The government is trying to plug a 1.3 billion euros hole in its budget after the Constitutional Court recently ruled that some of this year's austerity measures were unlawful.

Officials said Thursday the latest cuts will likely result in layoffs and prompt some public services to be scrapped.

Government minister Luis Sarmento said the steps "will place public services under great pressure."
Associated Press
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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