Portugal's PM gets his way in defeat of spending bill

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LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal's prime minister isn't carrying out his threat to resign — and has even scored a political victory over opponents six months before a general election.

Socialist Prime Minister Antonio Costa had threatened to quit if opposition parties went ahead with their intention to approve a bill granting teachers retroactive pay to replace income lost due to national austerity measures.

Costa said the unanticipated expenditure would ruin national finances and blamed his opponents for being reckless spenders of taxpayers' money.

That enabled the center-left Socialists to portray themselves as fiscally diligent and helped remove the stain of having been in power in 2011 when Portugal needed a 78 billion-euro ($87.5 billion) bailout.

Portugal's two center-right opposition parties voted with the government against the bill, which failed to pass Friday.

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