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Portugal reacts to Greek no vote with mix of anger, solidarity

LISBON, July 6 (Xinhua) -- The news that Greece voted "no" to further austerity has been received with a mix of anger and solidarity in Portugal.

The Portuguese center-right coalition (PSD/CDS-PP), which last week demanded Greece comply with measures set in its bailout program before the July 5 referendum, is concerned with the consequences for Portugal.

This is no surprise given the Portuguese center-right ruling coalition has been pushing on with austerity since the country signed a 78 billion euro (86.29 billion U.S. dollars) bailout in 2011, and is now showing signs of economic growth.

After the vote on Sunday, the vice president of the PSD Social democrat party Marco Antonio Costa said Portugal, unlike Greece, did not "move in the flavor of the winds" and that its commitment with the European project "remains firm," adding that Athens is living a situation of "social and financial emergency."

However, Portuguese activists reacted by placing a Greek flag on the Sao Jorge castle in Lisbon on Sunday to show European citizens had the right to decide their future.

Opposition leaders say the Portuguese government should show solidarity with Greece, with the leader of the main opposition Socialist party Antonio Costa pointing out that Greece's "no" vote does not mean exiting the euro.

"The sovereign decision by the Greeks to reject the proposal according to what was submitted to the referendum has to be respected, just like other deliberations by other member states in other occasions were," Antonio Costa said after the Greek results were revealed.

The landslide 61 percent to 39 percent results on Sunday saw Greeks say no in a referendum on a bailout package which would mean further austerity, but which lenders say would prevent the country from becoming broke.

However, Greece's left-wing government insisted that the country will be strengthened by this vote in the long run and that it is giving an example of democracy.

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