Portugal joins Greece in austerity measures

Portugal has joined Greece in announcing a series of austerity measures aimed at cutting its level of public debt.

Portugal’s finance minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos (pictured) made the announcement today as the country attempts to head off a debt crisis similar to that currently swamping Greece.

The austerity measures proposed include social-welfare cuts and a reduction in public-sector job creation.

Teixeira dos Santos also intends introducing a new rate of 45pc tax rate for those earning over €150,000 annually.

The measures are aimed at reducing Portugal’s budget deficit from 8.3pc of gross domestic product (GDP) to 2.8pc of GDP.

Of course, while such a budget deficit is nowhere near the Greek nightmare of 12.7pc of GDP, Portugal’s public debt figure is still well above the ceiling of 3pc of GDP set by Brussels.