Crisis-hit Portugal eyes deeper austerity in 2012
LISBON, Portugal—Portugal's Parliament is holding a final debate on the government's spending plans for next year before likely endorsing the country's severest austerity measures in almost 30 years.
The government is locked into a debt-reduction program promised in return for a euro78 billion ($104 billion) international bailout earlier this year.
Portugal, left feeble after a decade of anemic growth, added to the 17-nation eurozone's troubles as it followed Greece and Ireland in needing a financial lifeline.
The center-right coalition government and the main opposition Socialist Party gave their blessing to the bailout terms, ensuring the 2012 budget proposal is approved when lawmakers vote Wednesday.
The budget introduces a new round of tax hikes and pay and welfare cuts that will further crunch living standards.