Eurozone crosses Rubicon as Portugal’s anti-euro Left banned from power

Constitutional crisis looms after anti-austerity Left is denied parliamentary prerogative to form a majority government

The Telegraph, By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, October 23

Portugal has entered dangerous political waters. For the first time since the creation of Europe’s monetary union, a member state has taken the explicit step of forbidding eurosceptic parties from taking office on the grounds of national interest.

Anibal Cavaco Silva, Portugal’s constitutional president, has refused to appoint a Left-wing coalition government even though it secured an absolute majority in the Portuguese parliament and won a mandate to smash the austerity regime bequeathed by the EU-IMF Troika.

He deemed it too risky to let the Left Bloc or the Communists come close to power, insisting that conservatives should soldier on as a minority in order to satisfy Brussels and appease foreign financial markets.

Democracy must take second place to the higher imperative of euro rules and membership.

Novara Media: 4 Things You Need to Know About Portugal’s Political Crisis

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  • Portugal’s Socialists reject new minority government

    The Socialist Party has urged its members to withhold support for the center-right’s attempt at minority rule. A new vote and a growing divide over austerity policy are expected amid Portugal’s postelection confusion.

    Deutsche Welle, October 23

    Almost three weeks after elections were held in Portugal with no clear winner, a government had appeared to be taking shape on Thursday. The president reappointed Pedro Passos Coelho of the Social Democratic Party as prime minister, tasking him with managing a workable minority coalition after the government lost its majority mandate.

    Yet the situation has grown more precarious after an all-night meeting among the leadership of the Socialist Party, the country’s largest opposition group.

    The party announced on Friday that it refuses to guarantee the formation of a center-right government and demands its members of parliament to “reject any government program that essentially upholds the policies of the previous legislature.”

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