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August 15, 2014 AT 4:41 AM
Portugal's constitutional court gave the government more leeway to cut the budget deficit by approving, in part, austerity measures included in an IMF/EU bailout that Lisbon exited in May. The court ruled Thursday that salary cuts for public sector workers, which represent nearly 800 million euros a year in savings, would be valid this year and next--but cannot be applied in the years 2016-2018, as originally proposed by the government. That would allow the government to continue to cut the budget deficit, as planned, to 4 percent of gross domestic product this year, and to 2.5 percent next year--from 4.9 percent in 2013.