Portugal Rejoices as Anti-Austerity Left Coalition Forms to Oust Right Wing
Socialists, Communists, and Left Bloc unite in 'unprecedented' coalition to end years of punishing cuts
By Lauren McCauley / commondreams.org
Nov 11, 2015
Anticipating the anti-austerity takeover, a crowd gathers outside of Parliament in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo: Joao Profirio/EPA)

Anticipating the anti-austerity takeover, a crowd gathers outside of Parliament in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo: Joao Profirio/EPA)

In a surprising development for Europe's anti-austerity movement, Portugal's three reigning leftist parties on Tuesday formed an unexpected coalition to oust the country's center-right government from power and end years of punishing cuts and economic hardship.

The moderate Socialist Party forged what is being called "an unprecedented alliance" with the Communist Party and the radical Left Bloc—which is affiliated with Greece's Syriza party—to secure a 122-seat majority in the 230-seat Parliament and vote down a series of austerity proposals. The defeat brought the government's automatic resignation.

Socialist leader António Costa is now expected to become prime minister with "a broad, leftwing coalition government, which hopes to ease austerity while still adhering to European Union rules," the Guardian reports.

During last month's election, the center-right party lost its four-year parliamentary majority because of public backlash against punishing austerity measures imposed following the 2011 financial crisis and bailout. Under outgoing Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coehlo, the government cut salaries and pensions, slashed public services, and introduced significant tax hikes. In the beginning of this year, 55 percent of the population was either unemployed or held a precarious work situation.

Under the new agreement, the coalition pledges to roll back these cuts and end the privatization of public assets.

"The taboo has ended; the wall has been broken," Costa said Tuesday after the vote. "This is a new political framework; the old majority cannot pretend to be what it stopped being."

Outside the Parliament building in Lisbon, thousands of Portuguese citizens rallied in anticipation of the vote, chanting "People united will never be defeated."

Meanwhile, this enduring image from the vote was shared widely, including by Left Bloc leader Catarina Martins, as a symbol of the long-awaited victory. 

 

4.0 ·
1
Trending Today
"The Myth of Time" - Martin Luther King Jr.
3 min · 12,175 views today · Excerpt from MLK Jr.'s last sermon, "Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution". Delivered at The National Cathedral on March 31, 1968 (4 days prior to his...
Real Underground Kingdom That Has Existed for Millions of Years Went Unnoticed, Until Recently...
Kid Krunk · 8,353 views today · 28 Stunning Photos Of The World’s Largest Cave
Surviving Capitalist Depression
Michael Emero · 8,224 views today · We live in a toxic society filled with toxic people. Even the ones with the best hearts- including ourselves- have been raised in ignorance, with disinformation. Our examples...
How a Lack of Touch Is Destroying Men
Mark Green · 7,226 views today · Why Men Need More Platonic Touch in their Lives
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 4,403 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Hans Rosling Brilliantly Explains Complexity of Population and Resource Issues Using Simple Tools
3 min · 2,728 views today · Let me show you the world, says Swedish academic Han Rosling as he demonstrates the dynamics of population growth, child mortality and carbon dioxide emissions. The challenge...
How Wolves Change Rivers
4 min · 2,018 views today · When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years, the most remarkable "trophic cascade" occurred. What is a...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,960 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
True Justice Should Have Compassion in It
Thich Nhat Hanh · 1,829 views today · I believe that true justice should have compassion in it. When someone does something harmful, destructive, the destruction is done not only to the person who is the victim...
A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death
5 min · 1,820 views today · The Life of Death is a touching handdrawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.
The Price of Certainty
7 min · 1,717 views today · It’s alarming to see how polarized politics have become in the United States. The wider the gulf grows, the more people seem to be certain that the other side is wrong...
How to Fire Your Boss: A Worker's Guide to Direct action
IWW · 1,054 views today · The indignity of working-for-a-living is well-known to anyone who ever has. Democracy, the great principle on which our society is supposedly founded, is thrown out the window...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 1,048 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
What It Really Means to Hold Space for Someone
Heather Plett · 1,038 views today · How to be there for the people who need you most
Touch Isolation: How Homophobia Has Robbed All Men Of Touch
Mark Greene · 668 views today · Homophobic prohibitions against male touch are hurting straight men as well.
Meet the Earthship
7 min · 434 views today · Outside of Taos, New Mexico, you'll find a community of people living in off-grid homes made of garbage. The homes are called Earthships and were invented by Michael Reynolds...
The Importance of Empathy
3 min · 395 views today · With an increasingly polarized and divided world, we need empathy more than ever before. Too often we are talking at each other, unable to listen and jumping to entirely wrong...
Growing Huge Amounts of Food on 1/2 an Acre - Urban Abundance
5 min · 378 views today · In the small town of Oxford, Kane and Fiona Hogan have transformed their urban 1/2-acre property into abundant veggie gardens. Their business Urban Gardener aims to build...
HUMAN (2015)
382 min · 328 views today · What is it that makes us human? Is it that we love, that we fight? That we laugh? Cry? Our curiosity? The quest for discovery?  Driven by these questions, filmmaker and artist...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 314 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
Portugal Rejoices as Anti-Austerity Left Coalition Forms to Oust Right Wing