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Monday, 06 June 2011 15:00

Socialists Out in Portugal; Austerity Measures In

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The bells pealing in the 800-year-old Lisbon Cathedral may have tolled the end (temporarily) of the Socialists Party's’ hold on the government of Portugal.

Sunday, the slightly less leftist Social Democrats wrenched control of the Iberian nation’s government from the ruling party. Caretaker Prime Minister José Sócrates conceded defeat Sunday in Portugal’s legislative elections and said he was resigning as Socialist Party leader. Observers attribute the “emphatic” victory of the Social Democrats over the Socialists to the electorate’s recognition (and reluctant acceptance) of the “grinding austerity program” mandated as part of the $114 billion bailout of that nation’s economy.

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