Lisbon — Europe is still struggling to find a label for the new brand of socialism that has lifted Portugal’s fortunes over the past three and a half years. In the Portuguese media, the term geringonça, meaning “an odd contraption”, has stuck. Peter Mandelson, the British Labour peer, has suggested “the fourth way”. António Costa, the prime minister who gained office by forging a surprising partnership between the moderate and hard left, simply calls it “turning the page on austerity”. One of the few successful centre-left politicians in Europe, Costa is on course for re-election this year, having presided over an economic turnround that has restored confidence to Portugal, a country that the European debt crisis brought to its knees. Unemployment has halved to 6.7% and the budget deficit could be eliminated this year for the first time in more than 40 years. Across the continent, governing centre-left parties have been crushed by austerity policies. France and Italy were unable to ...

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