Portugal to make civil servants work longer to cut spending

LISBON Fri May 3, 2013 8:55pm BST

Portugal's Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho waits for the arrival of European Council President Herman Van Rompuy at St Bento palace in Lisbon May 2, 2013. REUTERS/Jose Manuel Ribeiro

Portugal's Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho waits for the arrival of European Council President Herman Van Rompuy at St Bento palace in Lisbon May 2, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jose Manuel Ribeiro

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LISBON (Reuters) - The Portuguese government plans to raise the retirement age by 1 year to 66 and make civil servants work an extra hour per day as part of an array of new spending cuts needed to slash the budget deficit and meet Lisbon's bailout targets.

Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho said the planned measures, to be applied mostly from next year and to save the state 4.8 billion euros until 2015, also include voluntary redundancy programmes for 30,000 civil servants out of a total of some 600,000 public sector workers.

"With these measures, our European partners cannot doubt our commitment" to the bailout programme, he said.

(Reporting By Andrei Khalip and Daniel Alvarenga)

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