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Premier quits after bail-out defeat

Portugal's prime minister has quit after opposition parties scuppered his proposals devised to avoid a bail-out.

All opposition parties united to defeat Prime Minister Jose Socrates' latest austerity measures in a parliamentary vote, saying the belt-tightening went too far.

Mr Socrates said in a statement the defeat made it impossible for him and his government to ensure Portugal's economic future.

The government's resignation was expected after days of political tension, but could re-ignite market anxiety about the financial soundness of the wider eurozone.

European leaders hope to soothe nervous international investors at a summit starting on Thursday.


From Belfast Telegraph