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Anibal Cavaco Silva

Portugal's government ousted amid austerity backlash

Anti-austerity lawmakers forced Portugal's center-right government to resign Tuesday by rejecting its policy proposals at the start of what was supposed to be a second consecutive term in office — and four more years of cutbacks and economic reforms.

The government*s dramatic collapse came less than two weeks after it was sworn in and raised questions about debt-heavy Portugal*s commitment to the fiscal discipline demanded of countries sharing the euro currency.

The moderate Socialist Party forged an unprecedented alliance with the Communist Party and the radical Left Bloc to get a 122-seat majority in the 230-seat Parliament, which it used to vote down the...