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Portugal's Socialist Party to form government backed by radicals

Portugal's president has invited Socialist Party leader Antonio Costa to form a government, backed by the Communist Party and radical Left Bloc.

President Anibal Cavaco Silva made the announcement in a statement on Tuesday, ending weeks of uncertainty over the eurozone country's political future.

Mr Costa's Socialists headed an anti-austerity alliance of leftist MPs that two weeks ago unseated a centre-right government that had been in power for 11 days.

That government had introduced spending cuts and economic reforms following Portugal's 78 billion-euro (£51 billion) bailout in 2011.

The Communists and Left Bloc have pledged to vote with the Socialists in Parliament, ensuring its legislation passes.

Some fear Portugal will abandon the fiscal discipline demanded of countries sharing the euro currency, but Mr Costa insists he will abide by international agreements.

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