LISBON, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho announced Friday evening new austerity measures to meet the country's deficit reduction targets for international bailout, local media reported on Saturday.
Passos Coelho said social security contribution from both public and private sector employees will increase from the current 11 percent to 18 percent and company will contribute less than employees to improve unemployment.
However, the prime minister said public workers will have their bonus salaries cut for only one month instead of two months as planned.
He also said that subsidies for retired workers will be suspended.
The prime minister said his country is moving in the way of becoming better and the risks the country is facing have been reduced significantly.
He said the pace of reduction of foreign debt is quicker than expected and the country is marching toward the goal of returning to the world financial markets.
Portugal agreed last year to a 78-billion-euro (about 98 billion U.S. dollars) bailout plan set by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund and the country must reduce its budget deficit to 4.5 percent of its gross domestic product this year. The country is struggling painsfully to meet the target. (1 euro = 1.26 U.S. dollars)