LISBON, April 17 (Xinhua) -- Portugal raised a total of 1.75 billion eruos in two debt auctions on Wednesday amid the heavily-indebted country's deficit reduction difficulty following the constitutional court ruling that some austerity measures in the 2013 budget are unlawful.
The Portuguese Treasury and Debt Management said that it auctioned 1.5 billion euros of one-year treasury bills at an interest rate of 1.394 percent, up from 1.277 percent in February, while an extra 250 million euros of three-month bills were sold at an interest rate of 0.743 percent, down from the 0.757 percent in March.
The successful auction of the bills is seen little helpful to the deficit reduction effort by the government which is struggling to meet the shortfall of about 1.3 billion euros it needs to meet the target of the troika comprising the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank after the court ruling earlier this month.
Troika representatives are currently on an additional visit in Lisbon, trying to seek a political consensus between the government and the main opposition Socialist Party in further cuts in public spending but their efforts met with the firm rejection of the opposition.
After his respective meetings with Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho and representatives of troika earlier on Wednesday, Secretary-General of the Socialist Party Antonio Jose Seguro told reporters that the meetings were "essentially nothing new" while reaffirming their differences over the government's implementation of the tough austerity measures.
"The PS reaffirmed all its positions. The PS reaffirms that it respects Portugal's international commitments, but it differs in the way the government honors these commitments,"said Seguro.
Under a 78-billion-euro bailout agreement with the troika in May 2011 Portugal has been implementing a harsh austerity policy which has sparked widespread protests across the country in recent months.
The court ruling has made it more difficult for the Portuguese government to meet its newly reajusted public deficit target of 5.5 percent of its GDP this year by the troika as the govenment has to further reduce public spending to compensate for the 1.3-billion-euro loss.