Portuguese markets plunge as president holds crisis talks

Suzie Neuwirth

PORTUGAL’S stock market plummeted and its borrowing costs rose sharply today, as pressure intensified on the country’s coalition government to find a solution to the worsening economic crisis.

Portuguese president, Anibal Cavaco Silva, has summoned the main political parties for emergency talks over the government’s future, according to Reuters, following the resignation of two ministers in two days and local media reports that two more were ready to quit.

Yields on the faltering Eurozone economy’s benchmark 10-year bonds rose above 8.1 per cent in early trading and the stock market plunged over six per cent.

Paulo Portas, the leader of the junior ruling coalition party quit as foreign minister yesterday, in protest at prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho’s choice of treasury secretary Maria Luis Alburquerque as the country’s new finance minister.

Alburquerque’s appointment, which came after previous finance minister Vitor Gaspar quit on Monday, appears to signal that Coelho will not deviate from his path of austerity.