PORTUGAL

Constitutional Court rules against public salary cuts

Prime Minister Passos Coelho says savings must still be made

The Portuguese government said Friday that it will stick to its goals to reduce the budget deficit despite the Constitutional Court having ruled that Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho discriminated against public employees by cutting their salaries.

The court late Thursday said that the center-right Passos Coelho could not apply the cuts only to civil servants, who saw their Christmas and summer bonuses slashed as part of a series of austerity measures agreed with Brussels as part of its bailout plan.

In televised remarks, the prime minister said that he will consider whether to apply the cuts to private-sector workers as well, possibly through a new tax. "Today I want to reiterate our determination to control the public deficit, to take all measures needed to guarantee our targets are met," he said.

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