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Mr Raccoon

Portugal goes tits up – how long before the IMF arrives?

So maybe I was a little hasty with the light blogging post as this Reuters article probably signals yet another European bailout and another step towards IMF/German ownership of the entre continent :

(Reuters) – Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates said on Wednesday he has submitted his resignation to the president after parliament earlier rejected his minority Socialist government’s latest austerity measures in a vote.

The rejection “had taken away from the government all conditions to govern,” Socrates said in a televised statement.

He said his government would remain in power in a caretaker capacity.

How exactly Portugal will be rescued though is another matter entirely, as FTAlphaville writes :

Responsibility for addressing a political limbo would fall to Aníbal Cavaco Silva, Portugal’s conservative president. If the government falls, most constitutionalists expect him to call a general election two years ahead of schedule.

But the ballot could not legally be held for a minimum of two months and would probably not take place until mid-June at the earliest. The outgoing government would normally remain in office in a caretaker capacity, its powers limited.

Constitutional experts said this would not include powers to negotiate a fiscal consolidation plan with the EU – much less a Greek- or Irish-style bail-out.

Mr Cavaco Silva could call on political parties to form an interim coalition government or appoint a transitional non-party “technical government”. According to Mr Moec, a “technical cabinet” would be better placed to negotiate EFSF aid, but “the Irish experience would probably deter European partners from cutting a deal with a government without clear parliamentary backing”.

Somewhat messy to say the least.

If you need a reminder of what a visit from the IMF entails (apart from Imposing Misery and Famine) then have a look here.

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