Portugal Parliament Passes Austerity Budget

‘Portugal’s parliament has approved a severe austerity budget for 2012, hoping to ensure future growth in exchange for a 78-billion-euro ($104 billion) international bailout it is receiving.

Measures, toughest in the country in almost 30 years, include a sharp cut in wages in the public sector, a rise in products and services taxes, and cuts in health and education spending, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

The government will also suspend holiday and year-end bonuses for civil servants.Portuguese officials have voiced optimism that the country, one of western Europe’s poorest nations, will manage the crisis successfully.’

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