Entries in budget (2)


Budget Rejection Prompts Resignation for Portuguese Prime Minister 

George Doyle/Thinkstock(LISBON, Portugal) -- The prime minister of Portugal, Jose Socrates, resigned Wednesday.  His decision to step down comes after failed attempts by his minority government to gather support from opposing parties for an austerity budget, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The proposed budget included spending cuts and an increase in taxes.  Parliament's rejection of the budget is likely to lead the country to seek a bailout package.

Socrates has said before that he would not continue in his post if parliament did not accept the budget.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the financially strapped country is looking at $5.96 billion in debt repayments next month.

Socrates said in a televised address a bailout could be worse for Portugal.

"Those who imagine an external aid package won't include more demanding measures, measures that are worse for us, are completely fooled," he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Biden Op-Ed: What US Must Now Do for Iraq

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Vice President Joe Biden's op-ed in The New York Times Sunday says it is time for the U.S. to change its role in Iraq from a militaristic lead to a civilian lead.  Just over a week ago, following months of wrangling since the March elections, lawmakers agreed on a framework for a new government in the country.  Now, Mr. Biden said it's time for that government to take over critical decision making.

The vice president said the 50,000 U.S. troops who will remain in Iraq until the end of 2011 have a new mission.  That mission, he wrote, is to advise and assist their Iraqi counterparts, to protect U.S. personnel and property and to participate in counterterrorist operations.

Mr. Biden said the lion's share of security work in the country must now be done by Iraqis.  "In a country where extremists remain bent on sowing chaos, and where innocent civilians still suffer unspeakable hardship, the transition to a safer society depends on the continued development of Iraq's security forces, now more than 650,000 strong."

Still, the vice president wrote the Iraqis are not yet ready to do it all on their own.  He said the U.S. must continue to support them and help Iraq's leaders with a range of challenges that lie ahead.  Those challenges include conducting a national census, integrating Kurds into the security forces and helping the Iraqis who worked against insurgents, resolving internal boundary disputes and determining the future of the city of Kirkuk.

Biden said that while Iraq is not yet ready to sustain itself financially, the time will come when it "will emerge from generations of trauma to become a stable and self-reliant nation."  The vice president ended the article by pushing for Congress to approve the White House's budget request for continued security and diplomatic efforts, pointing out the cost of those operations is far less than the cost of maintaining a full military presence.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio