LISBON/BRUSSELS/BERLIN (Own report) – The EU is exerting massive pressure to prevent the new Portuguese government from reversing austerity measures. Last Friday, the EU Commission conditionally accepted – with stipulations – Prime Minister António Costa’s Draft Budget Plan aimed at phasing out the austerity policy. Brussels has already scheduled a budget reassessment for the spring. During her meeting with Costa, the day of the Commission’s decision, Angela Merkel urged Portugal’s prime minister to continue to pursue his predecessor Pedro Passos Coelho’s austerity policy. Powerful financial market actors, notably the Commerzbank, are also opposing the democratically elected Prime Minister. The socialist minority government – supported by smaller leftwing parties – is facing a crucial test.