Is Portugal the Next Iceland? President May Challenge the Constitutionality of Austerity

HJ: 2013 has just begun and already the news stories are becoming very, very interesting.  Are we witnessing the beginning of the sea change?  We have been told that this is what will now be unfolding.  Furthermore, those who are energetically sensitive can feel the ongoing shift in consciousness at their core.  There is a slight lag as this internal shift manifests in the outwards physical reality. Despite the post-Ascension backlash from many who claim nothing happened or is happening, I believe we are beginning to see the changes that were spoken about.  Sure, they may be moving at a much slower pace than many are confortable with, but nonetheless they are happening.  That is the timeline which I am energizing and so it is.

Portugal has recently been quite the human rights vanguard, recently decriminalizing all drugs.  Now, likely taking cues from Iceland, major political figures are beginning to challenge the status quo that is the EU-IMF-Troika axis.  Portugal definitely has more clout and economic influence than Iceland.  If they do end up following through and defeating the axis, it’s anyones guess as to what could happen next, although it is likely that the move may spread like wildfire across Europe, which is something we can only hope and wait patiently for.  That, my friends, would indeed be a most historic moment and surely a major sign heralding massive impending changes.

– Truth

Portugal Warns EU-IMF Troika to Back Off on Austerity Demands

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard | The Telegraph

Portugal’s president has ordered a legal inquiry into the country’s austerity policies and threatened a showdown with creditors over the draconian terms of its EU-IMF bail-out.

President Anibal Cavaco Silva called for urgent action to halt the “recessionary spiral”, warning Europe’s leaders that the current course had become “socially unsustainable”.

In a speech to the nation, he said Portugal would “honour its international obligations”, but in the same breath called for a tough line with the European Union-International Monetary Fund Troika over the pace of fiscal tightening under Portugal’s €78bn (£63bn) loan package. “We have arguments, and we should use them firmly,” he said.

“Fiscal austerity is leading to declining output and lower tax revenue. We must stop this vicious circle,” he said, cautioning the Troika that there would be no way out of the crisis until policy was set in the interests of the “Portuguese people” as well as foreign creditors.

His sombre speech was a reminder that Europe’s crisis is far from over.

Portugal’s jobless rate has risen from 13.7pc to 16.3pc over the past year, reaching 39pc for youth, even before the full impact of austerity hits.

In a stinging rebuke to the country’s free market premier, Pedro Passos Coelho, the president asked the constitutional court to rule on the legality of tax rises that come into force this January as well as on further moves to dismantle the welfare state in the 2013 budget.

“There are well-founded doubts over whether the distribution of sacrifice is just,” he said. Mr Cavaco Silva’s broadside against ministers from his own centre-right Social Democrat party leaves the government starkly isolated, and increasingly in danger of losing its authority.

Popular anger is building over the over the Troika’s fiscal shock therapy, which will push up average income tax rates by 3.4 percentage points and bring in a plethora of surcharges and fees. It aims to cut the budget deficit to 4.5pc this year, largely through tax rises.

Markets have so far brushed off worries that the country risks a Grecian vortex as austerity bites in earnest. Yields on 10-year Portuguese bonds plummeted 30 basis points to 6.76pc on Wednesday as relief over America’s budget deal fuelled optimism across the world.

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