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Portugal’s ex-PM Jose Socrates has been detained by police as part of a corruption investigation.
Jose Socrates, who led Portugal’s centre left government from 2005 to 2011, was arrested on November 21 as he flew into Lisbon airport.
The former leader is one of four people detained as part of a probe into money-laundering and bribery.
The announcement comes in the wake of several other ongoing corruption investigations in Portugal.
Jose Socrates was held overnight and is expected to be questioned on November 22.
A statement from the attorney-general’s office said prosecutors had carried out searches at several locations, aided by 70 tax and police officers.
It said the investigation is into banking operations and transfers “without known justification or legal admissibility”.
It also stressed it was a separate from a long-running investigation into tax fraud in which several public figures have been caught up.
The development also comes just days after Portugal’s Interior Minister Miguel Macedo resigned following another investigation into alleged corruption linked to the allocation of residence permits.
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Portugal’s central bank has announced a plan to rescue Banco Espirito Santo (BES).
The group will be split into two – a “good bank” with the healthy assets and a “bad bank” with the riskier ones.
The “good bank”, which will be called Novo Banco, will be loaned 4.9 billion euros ($6.6 billion) from what is left of Portugal’s bailout fund.
The move had been expected after BES on Friday reported a record loss of 3.6 billion euros for the first half of the year.
Since June, when concerns about the financial health of the company first came to light, its shares have plunged 89%.
BES, which is Portugal’s largest listed lender, will be delisted from the stock market on Monday, with shareholders set to lose almost all their investment.
All of BES’s depositors will be protected.
BES will be delisted from the stock market, with shareholders set to lose almost all their investment
“The plan carries no risk to public finances or taxpayers,” said Carlos Cosa, Portugal’s central bank governor at a late night news conference in Lisbon.
“There was an urgent need to adopt a solution to guarantee the protection of deposits and assure the stability of the banking system,” he added.
Novo Banco will consist of the bank’s core business of taking deposits and lending to home-buyers and companies.
It is so far unclear what will happen to the “bad bank”, most of which relates to other businesses in the Espirito Santo Group, which include tourism, health and agriculture.
The cash injection for Novo Banco comes from a so far unused part of Portugal’s bailout fund from the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The idea is that Novo Banco will be run by the “resolution fund” – set up as part of the eurozone’s banking reforms and funded by Portugal’s financial institutions. The bank will eventually be sold off, with the proceeds used to pay back the 4.9 billion euro loan from the bailout fund.
In a statement, Novo Banco’s chief executive, Vitor Bento said “the key uncertainties that have been hanging over the institution for some time have now been removed”.
“Novo Banco is also taking with it… a dedicated workforce, a strong customer focus and comprehensive banking services that help to drive the Portuguese economy,” he added.
Vitor Bento was installed as chief executive of BES just three weeks ago as part of a management reshuffle designed to restore confidence in the bank.
The European Commission said it approved of the rescue plan.
“The adoption of this resolution measure is adequate to restore confidence in financial stability and to ensure the continuity of services and avoid potential adverse systemic effects,” it said in a statement.
Portugal itself only recently emerged from a three-year bailout plan. It was lent 78 billion euros in total by the EU and the IMF on the condition that it implemented severe austerity measures.
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Portuguese bank Banco Espirito Santo (BES) has reported a bigger-than-expected loss of 3.6 billion euros ($4.8 billion) for the first six months of 2014.
The troubled bank said “extraordinary events” had resulted in costs totaling 4.25 billion euros during the period.
The loss wipes out BES’s existing capital buffer of nearly 2.1 billion euros – cutting it to below the minimum level required by regulators.
The lender said it will begin a process to raise cash to meet capital rules.
“Over the course of the past few weeks, both shareholders and potential investors have shown interest in participating in a capitalization plan, some of them willing to take relevant stakes in the bank,” Chief Executive Vitor Bento said in a statement.
Banco Espirito Santo has reported a bigger-than-expected loss of $4.8 billion for the first six months of 2014
The larger-than-expected loss comes as BES – Portugal’s largest private bank – has been under increased scrutiny.
There have been concerns over the financial strength of the bank’s parent company and its ability to deal with its debt problems.
The fears were fanned after parent companies linked to the Espirito Santo family sought protection from creditors.
That has hurt the bank’s share price, which has slumped almost 40% in July.
The worries had also prompted the governor of Portugal’s central bank to issue a statement earlier this month aimed at reassuring depositors and investors about the health of BES.
The central bank had said at the time that investors had “no reason to doubt” the security of funds, and savers had “no need to be worried”.
The lender has also been trying to restructure its senior management.
Earlier this month, it accelerated the appointment of new executives, originally due to start at the end of July.
The Bank of Portugal ordered the changes to be fast-tracked after worries about the financial strength of the bank’s parent company hit global stock markets.
Speculation surrounding accounting regularities at the parent company of BES, Espirito Financial Group, led to three family members being replaced.
Espirito Santo Financial Group, which holds a 25% stake in BES, previously said economist Vitor Bento would be the new chief executive of the bank from the end of July and Joao Moreira Rato, who heads Portugal’s IGCP debt agency, would become the chief financial officer.
Meanwhile, Jose Honorio becomes deputy chief executive officer.
The three replace the Espirito Santo family members, including its patriarch Ricardo Espirito Santo Salgado, who announced his resignation as chief executive of BES last month.
Santo Salgado, who ran the bank for 23 years, was arrested last week in connection with a money laundering and tax evasion investigation.
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In a bid to ease investor’s concerns, Portugal’s central bank has stated that Banco Espirito Santo does not need extra funds.
Banco Espirito Santo (BES), Portugal’s largest bank, itself has said it has sufficient finances to deal with its parent company’s debt problems.
Worries about the financial strength of the bank’s parent company hit global stock markets on Thursday.
Portugal’s central bank said investors had “no reason to doubt” the security of funds, and savers had “no need to be worried”.
On Thursday, shares in both BES and Espirito Santo Financial Group – which holds a 25% stake in BES – fell sharply on worries about the financial health of the Espirito Santo group.
Banco Espirito Santo has said it has sufficient finances to deal with its parent company’s debt problems
Lisbon stock market regulators suspended trading in BES shares after they plunged by more than 17%. After the ban was lifted around midday on Friday, the shares gained close to 4% to 0.53 euros.
The overall Portuguese market was more than 2% higher meanwhile, after losing 4% on Thursday.
On Thursday evening, BES said it was “waiting for the release of the restructuring plan of Espírito Santo Group in order to assess the potential losses related to its exposure”.
“BES Executive Committee believes that the potential losses resulting from the exposure to Espírito Santo Group do not compromise the compliance with the regulatory capital requirements.”
Portugal’s PM Pedro Passos Coelho echoed the central bank’s message that BES was not in need of support.
Pedro Passos Coelho said: “There is no reason for the state to intervene in a bank which has solid capital and which has a comfortable margin to deal with any eventuality, even the most adverse.”
The events triggered a fresh outbreak of nerves about European banks, sending stock markets in Europe and the US lower.
There were concerns that BES’ troubles could have a wider impact on Portugal which only two months ago exited the bailout program.
At the height of the financial crisis, Portugal was forced to take a 78 billion euro ($106 billion) bailout from its European partners and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Portugal’s government borrowing costs fell to an eight-year low of 3.58% in April this year, but worries surrounding BES and the health of the country’s financial sector pushed these back up towards 4% on Thursday.
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US and European stock markets have fallen over concerns about the health of one of Portugal’s biggest banks.
Shares in Banco Espirito Santo were suspended after falling 17% following concerns about accounting irregularities at its parent group.
As a result, the Lisbon stock exchange fell more than 4%, Madrid’s IBEX was down 2.7%, while the Paris CAC 40 and Frankfurt’s DAX were both 1.8% lower.
Wall Street also opened sharply lower, with the Dow Jones falling 150 points.
This took the index well below 17,000, the level breached for the first time earlier this month.
US and European stock markets have fallen over concerns about the health of Portugal’s Banco Espirito Santo
Media reports highlighting concerns about certain financial practices at the Espirito Santo group surfaced at the end of last year.
Portugal’s central bank then ordered an audit into the group’s accounts, which uncovered “serious” accounting irregularities.
The Portuguese government has said that Banco Espirito is isolated from problems at its parent, which is registered in Luxembourg, and that public finances are not at risk.
At the height of the financial crisis, Portugal was forced to take a 78 billion euro ($106 billion) bailout from its European partners and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Portugal exited the bailout program last month as confidence in the country’s economy returned.
Government borrowing costs fell to an eight-year low of 3.58% in April this year, but renewed concerns about the health of the country’s financial sector pushed these back up towards 4% on Thursday.
Some commentators suggested the specific concerns about Banco Espirito fed into wider fears about the health of the eurozone economy.
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Brazil’s national football team coach Luiz Felipe Scolari is to face a criminal investigation, reports from Portugal say, as he denies tax evasion.
Luiz Felipe Scolari coached Portugal’s national team from 2003 to 2008. The allegations are believed to be connected to his time there.
Luiz Felipe Scolai is currently the coach of the Brazil’s national football team
In a statement, Luiz Felipe Scolari said he had always declared his earnings in all the countries he worked in.
The allegations come less than a month before the start of the World Cup 2014.
The attorney general’s office in Portugal confirmed a criminal investigation had been opened but gave no further details, the Associated Press news agency said.
“I am absolutely convinced of the correctness of my declarations. If there is something wrong, it is not of my doing,” Luiz Felipe Scolari’s statement reads.
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Police searching for Madeleine McCann will begin activity in Portugal.
The disclosure comes amid reports Portuguese authorities have given permission for sites in Praia da Luz, where the toddler went missing, to be searched.
Met Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said he would be unable to provide details of activity.
But he said he believed it “will occur in the coming weeks”.
A letter was sent to media editors amid speculation about excavation work.
Madeleine McCann was three when she went missing from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in 2007
Madeleine McCann was three when she went missing from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Algarve, in May 2007.
A request to search a number of sites was among a series of requests made to police in Portugal by British detectives working on the case, according to reports.
Mark Rowley said he had discussed the case with his opposite number in Portugal and highlighted the “high levels of interest” that activity would generate in the British media.
But he said Portuguese police do not provide the media with updates on current investigations.
He adds that “activity will cease” if police in Britain provide information or reporters “cause any disruption to their work in Portugal”.
Mark Rowley also said the processing of requests had been “more bureaucratic and slower than we would wish”.
But he asked media editors to respect the requests of Portuguese authorities as they carry out the work.
“We do not want to undermine our prospects of providing Mr. and Mrs. McCann with answers in this tragic case,” he added.
The development comes after the seventh anniversary of Madeleine McCann going missing was marked on Saturday.
Gerry McCann, Madeleine’s father, expressed his family’s gratitude that the Metropolitan Police team investigating Madeleine’s disappearance was now moving on to a “very active” phase in their investigation.
Kate McCann also disclosed last week that she returns to the Portuguese resort where her daughter disappeared to “walk those streets” and “look for answers” once or twice each year.
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British detectives searching for new leads in the 2007 disappearance of Madeleine McCann have received 5,000 calls.
Investigators were inundated with tips from UK, Germany and Holland after police issued a computer-generated image of a suspect last month, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood told the BBC.
“The media appeals produced a fantastic response from the public in all three countries,” he said.
“I know the appeal generated a large number of calls to the Portuguese police also.”
Many of the tips were from people who were in Portugal’s Praia da Luz resort when 3-year-old Madeleine McCann went missing on May 3, 2007, Andy Redwood added.
British detectives searching for new leads in the 2007 disappearance of Madeleine McCann have received 5,000 calls
The computer-generated image represents a man who was spotted carrying a child towards the beach near the resort.
Portuguese police closed the investigation in 2008. But after two years of reviewing case documents, London’s Metropolitan Police reopened the case in July, saying there was a good chance Madeleine was still alive. Portuguese detectives followed suit last month.
Five years after officially closing the book on Madeleine McCann’s disappearance, the Portuguese authorities say new material justifies reopening the investigation.
Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, said they were “very pleased” with the decision and hoped it would finally lead to their daughter being found.
Andy Redwood said police have widened the timeline they’re examining and in the last few months have opened two other investigative trails.
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Portuguese police has decided to reopen their inquiry into the disappearance of British girl Madeleine McCann, the public prosecutor’s office has announced.
Madeleine McCann, from Leicestershire, was 3-year-old when she disappeared from Praia da Luz in the Algarve, Portugal, in May 2007.
Portugal’s attorney-general said “new elements of evidence” justified the “continuation of the investigation”, which was shelved by police in 2008.
Madeleine McCann’s parents said they hoped for “the answers we so desperately need”.
Scotland Yard began a review of the case in May 2011 – codenamed Operation Grange – and opened a formal investigation in July 2013.
They said the Portuguese decision followed the “discovery of new lines of inquiry as a result of an internal review of the original investigation by the Portuguese Policia Judiciaria”.
It comes after Scotland Yard said at a briefing earlier this year that the Portuguese inquiry would not be re-opened until judges there were convinced there were solid grounds to do so.
Madeleine McCann was 3-year-old when she disappeared from Praia da Luz in the Algarve
Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley and Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood met senior Portuguese police last Thursday in Lisbon for a briefing on the new lines of enquiry which they said were “separate” to those being followed by the Metropolitan Police (Met).
Madeleine’s parents, Kate and Gerry McCann, were also briefed on the plans to apply to reopen the investigation.
They said they were “very pleased” the Portuguese inquiry, which will run in parallel with the Met operation, was being reopened.
“We hope that this will finally lead to her being found and to the discovery of whoever is responsible for this crime,” they said.
“We once again urge any member of the public who may have information relating to Madeleine’s abduction to contact the police in Portugal or the UK.”
Mark Rowley, assistant commissioner for specialist crime and operations, said the meeting was “very positive” and both forces had a “shared determination” to solve the case.
“I believe that we have the best opportunity yet to finally understand what happened to Madeleine,” he said.
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British police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have said they had an “overwhelming response” to an appeal on the BBC’s Crimewatch programme.
Officers suggested that Madeleine McCann’s disappearance in Portugal in 2007 bore hallmarks of a “pre-planned abduction”.
Scotland Yard said it was also looking into possible links to burglaries and bogus charity collections in the area.
It said officers would be following up the lines of inquiry provided by more than 300 phone calls and 170 emails.
Madeleine McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, was 3-year-old when she disappeared from her parents’ holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007.
Detectives investigating the case released two e-fits of a man seen carrying a child in Praia da Luz on the night Madeleine McCann went missing.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, the senior Metropolitan Police investigating officer, said a number of men had been seen by witnesses in the area on the day Madeleine McCann vanished and one theory was they could have been carrying out reconnaissance.
He said they wanted to track down men seen “lurking suspiciously” near the McCanns’ apartment block.
The Metropolitan Police say their inquiries have led to the timeline and “accepted version of events” surrounding Madeleine McCann’s disappearance being significantly changed.
Andy Redwood said it had been a “revelation moment” when police discovered a man seen by the McCanns’ friend Jane Tanner at 21:15 was almost certainly an innocent British holiday-maker collecting his two-year-old daughter from a nearby crèche.
He said: “Our focus in terms of understanding what happened on the night of 3 May has now given us a shift of emphasis.
Madeleine McCann, from Rothley, Leicestershire, was 3-year-old when she disappeared from her parents’ holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007
“It takes us through to a position at 10pm when we see another man who is walking towards the ocean, close by to the apartment, with a young child in his arms.”
Crimewatch featured a detailed reconstruction lasting close to 25 minutes and covering events leading up to and surrounding Madeleine’s disappearance.
The film is also to be shown in the Netherlands, Germany and Irish Republic this week as tourists from those countries were known to be in the resort at the time.
Andy Redwood said he would be travelling to the Netherlands and Germany to continue the appeal.
Madeleine McCann’s parents Kate and Gerry told the programme they were “hopeful and optimistic” after the fresh appeal for information.
Kate McCann said: “We’re not the ones that have done something wrong here. It’s the person who’s gone into that apartment and taken a little girl away from her family.”
The two e-fit images released are of a man a family had seen with a blond-haired child of 3 or 4, possibly wearing pyjamas, heading away from the McCanns’ holiday apartment.
Andy Redwood said he could be the man who took Madeleine McCann – but there could be an innocent explanation.
He also said there had been a four-fold increase in the number of burglaries in the area between January and May 2007 and one possible scenario was that Madeleine McCann had disturbed a burglar.
Police are also looking at possible bogus charity collectors operating in the area at the time and have released two e-fit images of Portuguese men they would like to identify.
Police have also released e-fit images of two men seen in the area around the time that Madeleine McCann disappeared. Two are of fair-haired men who fit similar descriptions.
Portuguese police shelved their inquiry in 2008 but Scotland Yard began a review of the case in May 2011 and opened a formal investigation in July this year.
Kate McCann described the moment that “panic kicked in” after returning to the apartment to find her daughter missing.
Madeleine McCann and her brother and sister were left in the apartment at 20:30 while her parents dined with friends at a nearby restaurant.
Gerry McCann checked on them at 21:05 and Kate McCann raised the alarm at 22:00.
British police investigating Madeleine McCann’s disappearance has released two e-fits of a man who was seen carrying a child towards the beach in Portugal.
Police say a family saw the man with a blond-haired child of three or four, possibly wearing pyjamas, heading away from the McCanns’ holiday apartment.
Madeleine McCann, from Rothley, Leics, was 3-year-old when she went missing on May 3, 2007, in Praia da Luz, Portugal.
The e-fit images will feature in a BBC Crimewatch appeal later.
The witnesses said the man was white, 20 to 40 years old and of medium build. He had short brown hair, was clean-shaven and of medium height, they added.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, the senior Metropolitan Police investigating officer, said he could be the man who took Madeleine but there could be an innocent explanation.
The Met Police opened up a new investigation earlier this year and have been reassessing all the gathered material.
British police investigating Madeleine McCann’s disappearance has released two e-fits of a man who was seen carrying a child towards the beach in Portugal
As a result, according to the police, the timeline and “accepted version of events” surrounding Madeleine McCann’s disappearance have significantly changed.
Andy Redwood said he was now attaching more weight to the sighting of the man and the child at 10pm, which was later than the time it was previously believed Madeleine McCann was taken.
Madeleine McCann and her brother and sister were left in the apartment at 8.30 p.m. while her parents dined with friends at a nearby restaurant. Her father, Gerry McCann, checked on them at 9.05 p.m. and her mother, Kate, raised the alarm at 10 p.m.
Andy Redwood said the child in the man’s arms had not been crying, nor looked in distress.
He added: “Whilst this man may or may not be the key to unlocking this investigation, tracing and speaking to him is of vital importance to us.
“This is far from our only line of inquiry and there will be e-fits released of other sightings as well, who we are equally keen to trace.
“These people were seen on the day of Madeleine’s disappearance and the days leading up to it.”
UK’s PM David Cameron said he was “very pleased” Scotland Yard were doing this work, which the government was helping to fund.
Portugal plans to cut 30,000 civil service jobs and to raise the retirement age by one year to 66 as it tries to meet the terms of a bailout.
PM Pedro Passos Coelho said civil servants would also be required to work 40 hours a week instead of 35.
The proposals, which would be applied mostly from next year, would save 4.8 billion euros over three years, the prime minister said.
Austerity measures have proved deeply unpopular and have triggered large protests.
“With these measures, our European partners cannot doubt our commitment” to the bailout, Pedro Passos Coelho said in an address to the nation late on Friday.
Portugal’s PM Pedro Passos Coelho announced new austerity measures from next year that would save 4.8 billion euros over three years
“To hesitate now would harm the credibility that we have already won back,” he added.
Portugal received a 78 billion euro bailout from the EU, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the IMF in 2011.
Unemployment stands at nearly 18% – a record high – and the economy is expected to shrink for a third consecutive year in 2013.
Last month, the Portuguese Constitutional Court struck down more than 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) of proposed cuts, which included the suspension of holiday bonuses for public sector workers and pensioners.
That forced the centre-right government to look elsewhere for savings – though it has ruled out raising taxes.
“We will not raise taxes to correct the budgetary problem resulting from the Constitutional Court’s decision,” Pedro Passos Coelho said.
“The way must be through the structural reduction of public spending.”
Portugal’s main Socialist opposition party has accused Pedro Passos Coelho of inflicting excessive austerity on Portugal in pursuit of an ideologically driven programme.
Ireland and Portugal are to be granted an extra seven years to pay back their emergency bailout loans.
The EU and the IMF bailed out the Republic of Ireland in 2010 and Portugal in 2011.
The eurozone agreed to the terms at a meeting of finance ministers in Dublin.
Meanwhile, the eurozone finance ministers also said a 10 billion euro ($13 billion) EU bailout loan for Cyprus was ready for approval by member states.
That could happen by the end of the month and, if the IMF also gives the go-ahead, the first bailout money could be released by mid-May.
The plan for Ireland and Portugal is intended to give the countries’ financial systems more time to recover from the debt crisis after their bailout loans run out.
Ireland’s bailout money will run out later this year, and Portugal’s will run out in 2014.
Ireland and Portugal are to be granted an extra seven years to pay back their emergency bailout loans
The Irish and Portuguese repayment extensions are expected to be backed by all 27 EU members, which includes those outside the eurozone, later on Friday.
Eurogroup President and Dutch Finance Minister, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said the ministers in Dublin had commended Portugal on its success in implementing the bailout programme but “asked them to maintain the reform momentum despite the difficult economic and domestic conditions”.
He added: “Ireland is a living example that adjustment programmes do work, provided there is a strong ownership and genuine commitment to reforms.”
The deal could be seen as something of a reward “for good behavior”, but also as recognition that an austerity-first approach was not always the best option.
The extension is especially important for Portugal. When it received a 78 billion euro bailout two years ago, it pledged to take various measures in its budget to reduce public spending.
However, last week Portugal’s Constitutional Court ruled that several of these measures in the 2013 budget were unlawful.
If Portugal was to drop the measures because of this, it may not remain eligible for more funds under its bailout.
On Thursday, it emerged that Cyprus would need to raise an extra 6 billion euros to secure the 10 billion euro bailout from Brussels and the IMF.
While confirming that up to 10 billion euros in loans will be provided to Cyprus, the eurozone finance ministers also rejected reports that the country might be granted more financial assistance.
Portugal’s PM Pedro Passos Coelho has said a court ruling striking down parts of his government’s budget means it will have to make other deep spending cuts.
Pedro Passos Coelho said social security, health, education and public enterprises would have to be cut.
This would allow the country to avoid a second eurozone bailout, he said.
The European Commission warned it not to depart from the bailout terms, and said carrying out the agreed programme was a precondition for further help.
Portugal’s PM Pedro Passos Coelho has said a court ruling striking down parts of his government’s budget means it will have to make other deep spending cuts
“Any departure from the programme’s objectives, or their re-negotiation, would in fact neutralize the efforts already made and achieved by the Portuguese citizens,” it said in a statement.
The Portuguese Constitutional Court struck down more than 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) of savings that the right-of-centre government had said were needed to meet the terms of its existing bailout.
In a statement to the nation on Sunday evening, Pedro Passos Coelho repeatedly used the phrase “national emergency” to describe Portugal’s situation.
He said the ruling striking down the budget’s suspension of holiday bonuses for public sector workers and pensioners – about 7% of their annual income – meant it must find alternative savings or seek a second bailout.
The government would, he said, do everything in its power to avoid having to ask its European partners for more aid.
Since tax increases were out of the question after the unprecedented increases already in the budget, he said, the only option was to cut back on other public services.
“Today, we are still not out of the financial emergency which placed us in this painful crisis,” he said.
“After this decision by the Constitutional Court, it’s not just the government’s life that will become more difficult, it is the life of the Portuguese that will become more difficult and make the success of our national economic recovery more problematic.”
Opposition leaders have accused Pedro Passos Coelho of using the court ruling as an excuse to press ahead with cuts to public services that he was planning anyway.
They say the government must resign, having lost credibility after two budgets in two years were ruled unconstitutional.
Garrett McNamara has ridden what may be the highest wave ever caught by a surfer, reportedly 100 ft (30 m) high.
Garrett McNamara surfed the wave on Tuesday off the coast of Portugal, in the same spot where he surfed the current world-record wave of 78 ft (24 m) in November 2011.
Experts will now have to certify the new record.
The giant wave formed above an underwater canyon famous for being the world’s biggest wave generator.
“You are just going so fast,” Garrett McNamara told ABC television.
“It’s really, really similar to snowboarding on giant mountains.
“And you’re just chattering, flying down this bumpy, bumpy mountain. Your brain is getting rattled. Your whole body is getting rattled.”
He said he was relieved to have avoided a rocky section of the coast.
Garrett McNamara began surfing at 11 and turned professional six years later.
Garrett McNamara has ridden what may be the highest wave ever caught by a surfer, reportedly 100 ft high