Portugal Socialists Say They’re Unlikely to Back AD’s Budget

(Bloomberg) -- Portuguese Socialist leader Pedro Nuno Santos said it’s “practically impossible” that his party would agree with a 2025 budget presented by a new government formed by the center-right AD coalition, which narrowly won an election on March 10.

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The Socialists may be able to reach agreements with the AD on specific matters on which there’s consensus, such as an amendment to this year’s existing budget to address the wages of some public sector workers, Santos said in Lisbon on Tuesday. He reaffirmed that the Socialists will be in opposition and will not support an AD government.

The center-right AD alliance won the most seats in parliament in the election, narrowly beating the Socialists, who have governed for the past eight years. Far-right party Chega grabbed much of the spotlight after it quadrupled the number of seats it holds, cementing its position as the third-biggest force.

The AD coalition on its own is well short of a parliamentary majority, which means that Portugal will likely have a minority government that may be forced to compromise on key policies and budgets to get support from other parties. Combined with Chega, AD would have an absolute majority in parliament, but center-right leader Luis Montenegro has so far ruled out agreements with the far-right party to get backing.

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa is meeting the different parties as part of the process of formally naming a new prime minister following the election. The winners of four seats representing Portuguese voters living abroad are still to be determined, and the president will only name the new premier once those results are known.

Read more: Portugal Joins Europe’s Shift With Far-Right Support Surging (2)

(Updates with details on timing of formal appoinment of new prime minister in fifth paragraph.)

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