...is more fruitful.
LISBON, Portugal — Portuguese opposition parties defeated a government
austerity plan on Friday, passing their own bill that lets the
country's regions rack up even more debt. The move raised new
questions about European nations' ability to control their swollen
The vote was also likely to rattle the world's financial markets,
which are already concerned that the financial troubles gripping
Greece may spread to other vulnerable eurozone countries such as
Portugal and Spain.
Portugal's minority Socialist government had fiercely opposed the
opposition bill, because it contradicts earlier promises to sharply
cut spending. Yet the bill passed 127 to 87, reflecting serious
resistance to the proposed austerity measures.
The government's defeat came after senior officials spent hours in
closed-door meetings trying to hammer out a compromise. The government
says the opposition bill punches a 400 million euro ($550 million)
hole in its budget over the next four years.