Portugal. In January, the verdict was dropped in a very
prominent case against a nurse who performed illegal
abortions at a health center in Oporto. The woman was
sentenced to 8.5 years in prison. The case triggered several
demonstrations in Portugal, where abortion is extremely
The March 17 parliamentary elections resulted in a change
of power. The Liberal Conservative Socialist Party (PSD)
defeated the incumbent government of the Socialist Party
(PS). However, no party got its own majority in the 230-seat
parliament. A few days later, PSD leader José Manuel Durão
Barroso was appointed new prime minister. Together with the
right-wing People's Party (PP), the PSD formed a coalition
Countryaah website, the country's poor economy was considered to have been
decisive for the exit. In the election campaign, PSD
promised lower taxes for the companies, more privatizations,
among other things. in health care, and reduced costs in the
public sector. The new government was also expected to
introduce stricter immigration rules and a higher standard
of living for the Portuguese.
The country's new finance minister, Manuela Ferreira
Leite, immediately began to put together an economic crisis
package to reduce the deficit in the state budget. The
deficit threatened to exceed 3% of GDP, thereby breaking the
EU Stability Pact, which stipulates the rules of the single
European currency, the euro.
During the year, the country received increasingly harsh
criticism from the European Commission and in July Leite
announced that the 2001 budget had shown a deficit of 4.1%.
In the autumn, P. received a reprimand from the EU, which
called for a tightening of the budget deficit before the end
of the year. A sanction process was initiated and fines of
up to 0.5% of the country's GDP threatened the country.
In response to the government's economic austerity
policy, hundreds of thousands of civil servants resigned in
November in the first general strike of ten years in the
country. However, Prime Minister Barroso said the
government's policy is firm.