Portugal gets draft budget after marathon meeting

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LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Efforts to restore Portugal's financial health have kept the government up all night, with the Cabinet concluding a 20 hour meeting to draft a budget for next year.

The meeting ended around 5 a.m. (0400 GMT) Thursday after starting at 8 a.m. the previous day.

Portugal is in recession and struggling to reduce its debt load despite a €78 billion ($100 billion) bailout last year.

Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar said last week the plan will include an "enormous" increase in taxes aimed at driving down the deficit.

The latest tax hike has brought a broad public outcry, tensions between the governing coalition parties, and the announcement of a general strike next month.

Gaspar is due to unveil the budget proposal on Monday.

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