Splintering and dissent continues in a major way as Christian Noyer, head of the Bank of France, attacks the fiscal rating of the UK following a negative outlook review of France by the rating agencies. In Portugal, socialists talk openly of default as a weapon.
Portuguese Socialists Threaten "Economic Atomic Bomb"
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard at The Telegraph writes Talk of 'nuclear default' sums up Left's anger at EU dictates
Tempers are fraying in austerity-racked Portugal. A top socialist politician was taped at a party dinner calling for diplomatic warfare against the EU's northern powers and issuing threats of debt default.
"We have an atomic bomb that we can use in the face of the Germans and the French: this atomic bomb is simply that we won't pay," said Pedro Nuno Santos, vice-president of the Socialist Party in the parliament.
"Debt is our only weapon and we must use it to impose better conditions, because recession itself is what is stopping us complying with the (EU-IMF Troika) accord. We should make the legs of the German bankers tremble," he said.
The comments came as Portugal slides deeper into recession, with the economy expected to contract by 3pc next year. Protesters marched through Lisbon on Thursday denouncing plans by the new conservative government to raise the working week to 42 hours. Wages are being cut 16pc for higher paid, and 8pc for lower paid public workers.
The parliament passed a fresh austerity budget earlier this month under the terms of its €78bn loan package from the EU and the International Monetary Fund.
Mr Nuno Santos said Europe's southern states should join forces to resist the austerity dictates and contractionary policies being imposed by the core powers. "It is incomprehensible that the peripheral countries don't do what the French president and the German Chancellor do. They should unite," he said.
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