Portugal’s small government takes office, facing a divided parliament | Story

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With only 80 seats in the 230-seat parliament, the government will need the support of the opposition to enact legislation.

Portugal’s new small centre-right government led by Prime Minister Luis Montenegro has been sworn in for a long-term existence as it faces a deeply divided parliament.

Democratic Alliance (AD). won the March 10 election much less than the outgoing Socialist Party (PS).

Montenegro said on Tuesday that the government was determined to rule until the end of four and a half years and promised to act with “humility, patriotism and the ability to negotiate”, while demanding the same from the opposition.

“The [expected] money to the parliament [next week] it can mean that the opposition will respect the principle of allowing us to work and carry out government policy,” he said.

With only 80 seats in the 230-seat parliament, AD will need the support of the far-right Chega party, which increased its parliamentary seats to 50, or the center-left PS, which won 78 seats. to pass the law.

Chega, an anti-immigration party whose rapid rise reflects Europe’s right-wing political tilt, has demanded a government role or long-term alliance to support AD, but Montenegro has repeatedly refused to negotiate.

Speaker selected with the support of PS

Montenegro’s problems were exposed last week when Chega rejected the candidate for the speaker of the parliament, who was elected with the support of the PS. The PS warned, however, that the aid is only one way to block the work of the parliament.

Portugal, a country of 10.3 million people, is receiving more than 22 billion euros ($23.6bn) through 2026 from the EU to promote growth and support economic reforms.

The government has promised tax cuts for families and companies, as well as pension increases.

It has also promised to tackle weaknesses in public health, particularly long waiting lists, and the housing crisis, as well as resolving growing disputes with police and teachers over pay and working conditions.

The government can push some of its results through parliament with the support of the opposition but the main piece of legislation – and its biggest test – will be the 2025 budget.

The failure to approve the budget in the past will lead to early elections in Portugal, and it seems that the AD will be forced to discuss the fiscal policy, and possibly other measures, with the PS.

“The PS … should be clear about its position: to be anti-democratic or to block it,” Montenegro said.

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