THE European Commission approved a budget from Portugal’s left-wing anti-austerity government yesterday after imposing about €845 million (£650m) in cuts.
In the latest EU assault on democracy, the commission forced Prime Minister Antonio Costa’s coalition of socialists, communists and greens to agree to bring its budget deficit down to 3.4 per cent of GDP, close to the EU limit on deficits of 3 per cent.
Even with that concession, EU commissioner Pierre Moscovici said the “government’s plans are at risk of non-compliance” with EU rules to keep deficits down and would need strict monitoring.
But he said there was no ideological fight involved, only an insistence on sound economics.
“We are not commenting on the political orientation of a government, centre, left or right,” Mr Moscovici told reporters after an extraordinary meeting of the EU commission.
“Whatever the government, it must apply the rules, within its sovereign rights and political choices.”