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Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho of the Social Democratic Party and Paulo Portas, the outgoing foreign minister and leader of the Democratic and Social Centre – People's Party, met on July 3 to hammer out a deal to keep the coalition government together. A further meeting will take place on July 4.

Meanwhile, government sources told the i that the coalition will remain united, avoiding the possibility of calling early elections. Coelho will meet President Aníbal Cavaco Silva later on July 4 to outline the results of these meetings.

The political crisis stemming from this week’s resignation of the finance and foreign ministers, triggered a 5.3 per cent drop in the stock market – the largest fall since 2010 – and a rise in interest rates on 10-year debt, which hit 8 per cent.