April 14, 2012- Portugal’s government ratified the European Union pact that tightens the control on budgets. Last year the country was given a bailout by the EU and this year became the second country after Greece to ratify the pact. The parliament for Portugal approved the pact by a 204 to 24 vote. The parliament also agreed to the new European Stability Mechanism. This is a new fund that gives a second defense against debt problems.
Pedro Passos Coelho, the Prime Minister of Portugal who is a member of the center-right, heavily supported the pact and his coalition has the majority in the parliament. He said it was important to ratify in order to show we do not want the same errors to happen again. The coalition’s opposition, the Socialist Party, voted in favor in order to help the country keep its credibility intact. The majority of parties that are left wing, fault the pact because it does not take into consideration sufficiently both job creation and growth.
In late March, Greece was Europe’s first country to approve the pact. The Greeks also received a bailout from the EU.
The pact was signed on March 2 in Brussels by 25 countries in the EU and tightens the regulations pertaining to public finances. Both the Czech Republic and Britain refused to sign. Once 12 countries in the EU ratify the pact, it will start to be applied.