Junior party aims to save Portugal coalition gov’t

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — A spokesman for the junior party in Portugal’s coalition government says it will negotiate terms with its senior partner to stay in the administration, saving the government from immediate collapse.

Popular Party official Luis Queiro announced Wednesday that party leader Paulo Portas, who quit as foreign minister in protest against austerity policies, will hold talks as soon as possible with Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho.

The two remaining Popular Party members of the Cabinet will stay in their jobs, though Queiro warned his party will carefully examine future spending cuts.

The Popular Party’s possible departure sent financial markets into a tailspin because without its votes the government couldn’t be sure of passing legislation in Parliament.

Portugal has to enact cuts to keep accessing bailout loans and avoid bankruptcy.

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