Portugal's president ratifies austerity budget

Associated Press

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — A third straight year of financial austerity awaits Portugal after the bailed-out country's president signed the 2014 national budget into law.

Among the latest money-saving measures, the annual spending plan includes a pay cut of up to 12 percent for government workers who earn more than 675 euros ($930) a month.

The head of state's formal ratification of the budget proposed by the government was published Tuesday. His stamp of approval coincided with new strikes by public transport workers who oppose the cutbacks. They plan further walkouts in 2014.

Debt-heavy Portugal has one of the frailest economies among countries that share the euro currency. It is battling to fix its economic problems before its three-year 78 billion-euro rescue loan runs out in the middle of next year.

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