November 9, 2015 / 4:18 PM / 3 years ago

Facing crucial vote, Portugal PM warns country cannot abandon reforms

LISBON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho, whose government faces a vote that may topple it in the opposition-dominated parliament, warned on Monday that leaving the path of reforms and meeting euro zone commitments would be ruinous for Portugal.

Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho leaves a meeting with Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva (not pictured) at Belem Presidential Palace in Lisbon, October 6, 2015. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

“The choice we have is clear: between the path of reforms that is gradual and secure, and the path of unrealistic political programs following immediate goals,” he told parliament, adding that with its heavy debt burden Portugal could not be complacent.

“I will not collaborate and will oppose any negative policy leading to Portugal’s ruin, where the Portuguese are seen as mere instruments of political power games,” he said as he presented his government program in parliament.

The leftist majority seeks to reject the program in the vote that is likely to take place on Tuesday, and then form a Socialist-led government.

Reporting By Andrei Khalip, editing by Axel Bugge

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