By Phillip Souta
Jose Socrates, the prime minister of embattled Portugal, tendered his resignation on 23 March after failing in a last ditch attempt to get a raft of austerity measures through parliament. New elections are to be held on 5 June. In the mean time, Portugal has applied to the EU for a bailout as spreads on Portuguese debt shot through the roof following the opposition’s rejection of the austerity package.
A lot has been made of the fact that he apparently lacks the democratic legitimacy to do this. Bruno Waterfield, the Telegraph’s Brussels Correspondent makes this argument in a recent blog, last post for Portuguese democracy. He argues that the bailout “will be stitched up, copper bottomed and binding before the Portuguese people have the chance to vote on June 5.” But does Socrates really lack legitimacy? And will the opposition really be stitched up? Read full article »