Portuguese go to the polls

Portugal is voting in parliamentary elections that are predicted to keep the Socialist Party in power despite the highest jobless rate in 20 years.

The centre-left Socialists have blamed the global meltdown for Portugal’s crisis and promise big-ticket public works projects to stimulate growth.

Prime Minister Jose Socrates also vows to stick with a modernising reform program that has antagonised many.

The main opposition Social Democratic Party says the country can not afford more debt and wants private enterprise to lead the way.

Recent opinion polls have indicated victory for the Socialists, with 38% of the vote to 30% for the centre-right Social Democrats.

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