Portugal parlt passes EU fiscal pact by huge majority

LISBON, April 13 Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:04am EDT

LISBON, April 13 (Reuters) - Portugal's parliament on Friday approved a key European treaty on budget discipline by an overwhelming majority, confirming the broad political consensus that has enabled the debt-laden nation to perform well in its first year under an EU/IMF bailout.

The pact was approved by 204 votes to 24, with two abstentions, after the main opposition Socialists declared their unconditional support the previous day.

A law on deficit limits has still to be detailed in what may be a lengthy process, but confirmation of such broad political support for the German-inspired budget discipline pact is a positive signal out of recession-hit Portugal, which many investors expect to need to be bailed out a second time.

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