Portugal's government ousted amid austerity backlash

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Anti-austerity lawmakers have forced Portugal's new center-right government to resign by rejecting its policy proposals.

The showdown comes less than two weeks after the center-right government was sworn in.

The moderate Socialist Party forged an unprecedented alliance with the Communist Party and the radical Left Bloc to get a majority in the 230-seat Parliament and vote down the proposals Tuesday.

After four years in power the government lost its parliamentary majority in an Oct. 4 general election, which saw a public backlash against austerity measures adopted following a 78 billion-euro ($84 billion) bailout in 2011.

Socialist leader Antonio Costa is expected to become prime minister in coming weeks, supported by the Communists and Left Bloc. The have promised to alleviate austerity, though critics fear a return to borrow-and-spend policies.