Portugal’s PM won’t quit despite resignations

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal’s prime minister says he “won’t resign” despite the resignations of two key members of his Cabinet in a spat over austerity policies.

Pedro Passos Coelho said in a televised address to the nation late Tuesday that his government will continue its battle to restore the bailed-out country’s financial health:

“I won’t give up on my country,” he said.

But the government’s future is hanging in the balance after the resignation earlier Tuesday of Foreign Minister Paulo Portas, the leader of the junior party in the governing center-right coalition, in protest against austerity measures.

Passos Coelho said he wouldn’t accept Portas’s resignation and would seek to heal the rift between the coalition partners.

Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar quit Monday, complaining he lacked political support for his austerity program.

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